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 AMERICA’S MOST HISTORIC BLACK PLACES

We are a collective of people from across America working on a national trail of historic black towns and settlements. Established in 2014 as part of the strategic plan for the Historic Black Towns and Settlements Alliance, the project is one of the first of its kind in America. One of the many remarkable things about the Discover Our America project is that it involves countless individuals throughout the Discovery Trail across many states.

We are a collective of people from across America working on a national trail of historic black towns and settlements. Established in 2014 as part of the strategic plan for the Historic Black Towns and Settlements Alliance, the project is one of the first of its kind in America. One of the many remarkable things about the Discover Our America project is that it involves countless individuals throughout the Discovery Trail across many states.

We are a collective of people from across America working on a national trail of historic black towns and settlements. Established in 2014 as part of the strategic plan for the Historic Black Towns and Settlements Alliance, the project is one of the first of its kind in America. One of the many remarkable things about the Discover Our America project is that it involves countless individuals throughout the Discovery Trail across many states.

We are a collective of people from across America working on a national trail of historic black towns and settlements. Established in 2014 as part of the strategic plan for the Historic Black Towns and Settlements Alliance, the project is one of the first of its kind in America. One of the many remarkable things about the Discover Our America project is that it involves countless individuals throughout the Discovery Trail across many states.

HISTORIC BLACK TOWNS & SETTLEMENTS ALLIANCE
VISIT ESTHERS CAJUN SOULFOOD IN HISTORIC INDEPENDENCE HEIGHTS, TEXAS

DISCOVER OUR AMERICA

The history of early America is incomplete if it doesn’t tell the true story of the people who established it and those that were here before the Europeans came. 
Discover Our America is a nationwide project aimed at building a national trail of historic black towns and settlements and uncovering the untold history of people of African descent and how they to helped establish this great country. By creating places of their own. you to can discover the achievements that have inspired generations upon generations of descendants scattered across the world. 

MASTER PLAN & PROJECT GOALS

UNC historian Bill Ferris, senior associate director of the Center for the Study of the American South, and Founder of the Historic Black Towns and Settlements Alliance partnered to build the capacity of the HBTSA and its member towns. On the campus of the University of North Carolina, the two entities finalized the makings of recommendations from the strategic plan funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The plan called for the development of an umbrella organization and the development of  heritage trail.

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 PROJECT ANALYSIS & FEASIBILTY STUDY

The HBTSA consulted the services of Everett Fly, a San Antonio–based architect and landscape architect who received the 2014 National Humanities Medal for his work with the HBTSA. It was his work and recommendation from the findings that paved the way for HBTSA to develop a master plan for a heritage trail that would connect towns and settlements in each state. These recommendations came at the hills of each town individually developing commemorative heritage sites in their respective communities as showcase items for the trail. 

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EXPLORE OUR AMERICA

Across America there are people who have created spaces to honor our early ancestors in many ways. From continuing our culinary roots to preserving cemeteries and old homesteads, there are places to explore the legacy of these early pioneers.
We are proud of our rich heritage and understand the importance and role early environments played in our lives. These places not only embody our identity, they are roots to our soul and what makes us who we are. Explore some of these places through our interactive map and and preservation projects. 

 PLACES ALONG THE TRAIL

We know the story of these historic places are an integral part of the American story. 
So many communities were established in the aftermath of the Civil War. Some even incorporating as individual towns and small cities. Take a trip along the trail and explore these unique places. 


Mound Bayou, Mississippi
Founded 
Incorporated 1887


Eatonville, Florida
Founded 
Incorporated 1885


Hobson City, Alabama
Founded 1888
Incorporated 1899


Tuskegee, Alabama
Founded 1818
Incorporated 1833


Grambling, Louisiana
Founded 1901
Incorporated 1953


Brooklyn, Illnois
Founded 1833
Incorporated 

EXPERIENCE OUR AMERICA

Take a trip along our trail and learn about the places established by people of African descent.
The places our ancestors settled after the Civil War in the face of adversity are places of achievement, courage and success. Through years of uncompromising toil and hard work, our ancestors settled and established whole communities and even incorporated towns that still exist today. No matter where you think you are from, if your ancestors were here during the establishment of America, then you were here too. Explore these important places and learn about the people and what it means to our future.

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Across America there are people who have created spaces to honor our early ancestors in many ways. From continuing our culinary roots to preserving cemeteries and old homesteads, there are places to experience the legacy of these early pioneers.
We are proud of our rich heritage and understand the importance and role early environments played in our lives. These places not only embody our identity, they are roots to our soul and what makes us who we are. Learn more about the cooking, culture and life in communities through the many museums, cultural centers, preservation projects and more. 

Across America there are people who have created spaces to honor our early ancestors in many ways. From continuing our culinary roots to preserving cemeteries and old homesteads, there are places to experience the legacy of these early pioneers.
We are proud of our rich heritage and understand the importance and role early environments played in our lives. These places not only embody our identity, they are roots to our soul and what makes us who we are. Learn more about the cooking, culture and life in communities through the many museums, cultural centers, preservation projects and more.