New Jersey Invites Nominations for Black Heritage Trail Sites
NJ Historical Commission Seeks Nominations for Sites along the Black Heritage Trail
TRENTON, NJ – The New Jersey Historical Commission (NJHC) is currently accepting nominations for sites to be featured on the state-wide Black Heritage Trail. This initiative is aimed at enhancing the awareness and appreciation of Black history, heritage, and culture in New Jersey.
The Black Heritage Trail, established by legislation signed by Governor Murphy on September 7, 2022, is a project of the NJHC. It aims to "highlight Black heritage sites through historical markers and a trail-like path that connects the stories of Black life and resiliency." The project is an effort to connect New Jersey's residents and visitors with the rich and diverse histories of African Americans in the state.
Lieutenant Governor Tahesha Way remarked on the importance of the trail in making diverse histories visible and commended the NJHC for its efforts in uplifting these aspects of the American story.
The NJHC is collaborating with various state agencies, including the Division of Travel and Tourism, the New Jersey Historic Preservation Office, and the New Jersey Black Cultural and Heritage Initiative Foundation. Each agency contributes its unique expertise to the implementation of the trail.
Sara Cureton, Executive Director of the NJHC, emphasized the trail's goal to showcase the significant contributions of Black Americans to New Jersey's history over more than three centuries. The trail will highlight the varied and vital roles African Americans have played in shaping the state's narrative.
The NJHC has sought public input for the development of nomination guidelines for the Black Heritage Trail, hosting community meetings and launching an online survey to gather feedback.
Members of the public, as well as public and private institutions, are encouraged to submit nominations. The application process requires submitting an online form that includes a historical narrative, bibliography, site location, and site documentation. Applications can be found on the NJHC website’s African American page at www.history.nj.gov.
For those interested in learning more about the Black Heritage Trail and the nomination process, a recorded application video is available on the NJHC YouTube channel. Additionally, the NJHC is hosting a workshop on the application process on February 1st at 6:30 PM, for which registration is available online.
The initiative to establish the Black Heritage Trail represents a significant step in recognizing and honoring the profound impact of African American history and culture in New Jersey.