WilmingtoNColor Heritage Tour educating community, tourists about Wilmington’s Black History
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The WilmingtoNColor Heritage Tour was founded by Cedric Harrison, who is an advocate for diversity and inclusion in the Wilmington community.
“This [idea] actually first came from the success of the coloring book series that we created around Wilmington’s African-American history called ‘Wilmington North Carolina In Color,’ then with that success, plus, with winning the Z. Smith Reynolds All For NC Fellowship, with those mentors, and during that time of the process helped me to come up with a plan to really stick to something that could help benefit Wilmington’s black community by using the foundation of it’s history,” Harrison said.
“Growing up in Wilmington I never actually had a direct connection to any of this history. I’ve always heard whispers of whispers of stories, but never anything that was clear, and then once I got older and started to learn so much more in detail about the national African-American contribution that came from Wilmington natives, it empowered me and inspired me to a point where I was like somebody has to fix this issue.”
The tour starts at the 1898 Memorial and has stops at historical landmarks throughout the city, like Williston Middle School and the site of Gregory Normal Institute — where African Americans first started their education in Wilmington.
“We wanted to do something that just generally captured a good hour, hour and 15 [minutes] that gives you a strong introduction to some of the strongest bases of the black foundation here in Wilmington,” Harrison said. “I haven’t seen anything like this that can really help get an introduction going to these conversations and [give] examples of solutions around some similar problems that we’re still dealing with today.”
Harrison hopes that as people take the tour and learn more about the rich history in Wilmington, they will take a deeper dive into what they have learned.
“More importantly, I hope they find ways to integrate themselves and how to support initiatives and efforts that are going on in today’s time, in the present time, that can really help contribute to creating a better future,” Harrison said.
Harrison is currently in a soft launch for the tours, but hopes to officially launch on Juneteenth.
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