NJHC Accepting Nominations for NJ Black Heritage Trail

NJHC Accepting Nominations for NJ Black Heritage Trail

Here in the Garden State, there is always something new to explore. Whether you want to immerse yourself in nature or hear more about our state’s rich history, there are destinations all over our great state to discover. While February is Black history month, both here in the Garden State and all throughout the nation, it is critical that we celebrate the people, places, and ideas that fought for equality all year round. When it comes to discovering the sites and sounds of history, there are few better methods than putting your feet on the ground and immersing yourself in the locations where these consequential acts took place. And as New Jersey prepares for the creation of its own Black Heritage Trail, they need your help to pick the locations and pave the way.

The New Jersey Historical Commission recently announced that it will now be accepting nominations for the New Jersey Black Heritage Trail. A Heritage Trail is a self-guided walking trail or driving route which directs visitors to a number of key historical or cultural sites. The New Jersey Women’s Heritage Trail, for example, notates significant people, places, and phenomena which were significant during the time of women’s suffrage and beyond. Now, as the NJHC prepares to unveil the New Jersey Black Heritage Trail, they need your help in determining which heritage sites are highlighted in this exciting new endeavor.

In 2022, Governor Murphy signed the establishment of a New Jersey Black Heritage Trail into law, tasking the New Jersey Historical Commission with the creation of this marvelous new historical resource. Now, as the project begins to take shape, the next step is determining which locations make the cut for the trail. Per the NJHC, nominated locations should “highlight Black heritage sites through historical markers and a trail-like path that connects the stories of Black life and resiliency.” This project is spearheaded by a number of key state agencies, including the NJ Division of Travel and Tourism, the the New Jersey Historic Preservation Office, and the the New Jersey Black Cultural and Heritage Initiative Foundation.

The deadline for submissions is Friday, March 8th, 2024. Applications may only be submitted online on the NJHC’s online portal, linked here: Apply – Black Heritage Trail. Instructions and guidelines regarding how to apply can be found here: Guidelines – NJHC. A number of entities are invited to apply, including members of the public, as well as private and public institutions. Applicants are required to submit an online application that will include a historical narrative, a bibliography, site location, and documentation of the site. The New Jersey Black Heritage Trail will no doubt serve as an exploratory asset for generations of New Jerseyans, and you now have the opportunity to play a part in bringing it together.

For any questions, please contact Assistant Project Manager, Greg Odey, at gregory.odey@sos.nj.gov or by calling (609) 943-3304 for additional assistance. For more information on this and other upcoming initiatives of the New Jersey Historical Commission, please visit their website, linked here: NJHC – Home. Your participation is a key factor in paving the path for the future of this project, so be sure to get in your submissions soon!

Black Heritage Trail

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