In honor of Black History Month, Mobile County Commissioner Merceria Ludgood has provided a grant to the Dora F. Finley African American Heritage Trail in Mobile — monies that will help fund docent-led tours for school children, senior citizens and non-profit organizations.
A press release from the county said the 41 established sites on the Trail give a powerful history of the significant contributions made by African-Americans to our community.“Each place becomes sacred because the people it represents become a narrative of the life, community and individuals of Mobile,” Ludgood said. “It’s a physical reminder of where we’ve been and where we’re going.”
Dr. Joycelyn Finley-Hervey, Vice President of the Trail’s Board of Directors said the trail continues to be “woven into the very tapestry of Mobile’s rich 314-year history” and is an example of the region’s “diverse cultural heritage.”
The Trail depicts a long and varied history of the people and events it commemorates from baseball Hall of Famer, “Hammerin” Hank Aaron as well as entrepreneurs and professionals, like the community’s first licensed African-American physician and surgeon, Dr. Thomas N. Harris.The trail also includes covers Mobile’s history of slavery, from John Ragland’s slave market to the nation’s last cargo of Africans that arrived in Mobile illegally aboard the Schooner Clotilde in 1860. The Trail describes the diversity of African-Americans who populated the area, from the early Creoles de Color to modern civil rights leaders.
Set to celebrate its 10-year anniversary March 10, the trail and the history it commemorates were the passion of its namesake, the late Dora Franklin Finley, whose own ancestors were trailblazers in Mobile.
The tours are led by docents well-versed in Mobile’s history and are conducted either as driving or walking tours. To book a tour or for more information, visit the trail’s website.
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