African American Heritage Trail opens
Louisiana tourism officials have unveiled the first 26 sites on an African American Heritage Trail running from New Orleans to northern Louisiana. There are 26 stops on the trail to begin with, although that will be expanded. Included are the expected — plantations with details about slaves’ lives, and the early roots of jazz — and the unexpected — such as Melrose Plantation, built and owned and operated by a former slave, who in turn became a slave owner.
Some of the sites on the trail are associated with prominent individuals, such as the great gospel singer Mahalia Jackson’s grave in Providence Park Cemetery in Metairie; and the Arna Bontemps African American Heritage Museum in Alexandria, the family home for a writer who went on to become important in the Harlem Renaissance. Places on the trail in New Orleans are the New Orleans African American Museum, St. Louis Cemeteries No. 1 and No. 2, the French Market and the Amistad Research Center. “It will tell the stories of African Americans who have made contributions to Louisiana, to America and to the world,” said Chuck Morse, assistant secretary of the Louisiana Office of Tourism. “It makes us proud, but it’s not about pride totally. It’s also about the economy.”
Details: or 800-474-8626 or online.
SOURCE: Pittsburgh Online