Joined at HIldene, the Lincoln Family Home, by state legislators, community activists and educators from around the state, Gov. Peter Shumlin today highlighted the Vermont African American Heritage Trail (AAHT) and encouraged Vermonters and tourists to explore the museums and cultural sites.
"African Americans have played an important role in the history of our state," said Gov. Shumlin. "They fought in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, went to Vermont schools, colleges and universities, and became leaders in all sectors. The African American Heritage Trail pays homage to these contributions, and I encourage Vermonters and tourists to experience this unsung piece of Vermont history."
The trail, which was developed through a partnership between the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing and the Vermont Partnership for Fairness and Diversity, is comprised of 17 sites throughout Vermont. Attractions include interactive exhibits, thought-provoking videos, and guided tours highlighting Vermont's strong African American heritage.
"The history of those of African descent in Vermont is in many ways exemplifies the history of Vermont from before its founding in 1777 through present day," said Curtiss Reed, Jr. of the Vermont Partnership for Fairness and Diversity, who joined Gov. Shumlin at the Hildene event. "The African American Heritage Trail provides out of state visitors and residents alike a glimpse of the rich and enduring impact Vermonters, both black and white, have had in sustaining communities locally and promoting racial equality at the national level."