Activist state

The State of New Jersey will create a black heritage trail

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Fpioneer abolitionist, Harriet TubmanCape May’s ties to activist, musician and actor Paul RobsonThe childhood home of Princeton, New Jersey, is full of pockets of black history, and a new project will ensure the untold stories of black pioneers that exist in the Garden State are amplified and celebrated. According NBCelected officials and cultural institutions join forces to create the Black Heritage Trail.

Introduced in January 2021, the initiative was designed to celebrate the legacy of African Americans breaking down the barriers that have shaped New Jersey’s social, cultural and political landscapes. The trail will include monuments, museums and heritage sites – which serve as the backdrop to historic moments in time – all of which will be featured on a downloadable travel itinerary. Historical markers will be added to sites along the trail to draw attention to their significance.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed a bill that will allocate $1 million for the development of historical markers. Designated sites will be chosen by the New Jersey Black Cultural and Heritage Initiative Foundation and the New Jersey Historical Commission.

The bill was supported by MP Antwan McClellan, Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter, Assemblywoman Verlina Reynolds-Jackson, Senator Troy Singletonand Senator Michael Testa. News of the Black Heritage Trail comes a year after the announcement of a monument honoring the life and legacy of Harriet Tubman was coming to Washington Park in downtown Newark. It is not known when the project will be completed.

“If we omit this story, it’s as if we were looking at each other with one eye. As a people and a nation, we have too long been selective in how we understand and talk about history,” Derek Daviswho is a board member of the Camden County Historical Society and the NJ Black Heritage Foundation, said in a statement. “This reservoir of information and its public acknowledgment will teach us who we once were and can contextualize who we are, pointing us towards a better shared future.”

“Celebrating and commemorating black history is not something we should relegate to just February or June 19. Black history is New Jersey history. He should be honored every day of the year,” added Murphy.


Monument honoring the legacy of Harriet Tubman in the city of Newark

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