Creators of the African American Cultural Trail of Greenville-Pitt County will host a formal launch celebration on Wednesday.
The event is set for 4 p.m. at the Sycamore Hill Gateway Plaza Memorial at the Greenville Town Common, 201 W. First St. in Greenville.
The trail, which opened with a soft launch in June, was created to celebrate the rich history and recognize the many contributions that African Americans have made to the growth and development of the city and county, organizers said.
With help of a smartphone app, the trail allows visitors to experience the lives, stories and history of early black educators, medical professionals, cultural leaders and residents starting at the Gateway Plaza, where Israel and Annie Adams established the Sycamore Hill Baptist Church in 1865.
Stops include the adjacent Town Common, location of the downtown neighborhood before it was razed in the 1960s as part of an urban renewal project, and the location of the first African American hospital, which also stood in the downtown neighborhood.
Others stops include Albemarle Avenue and the Roxy Theater, once the social and entertainment center of Greenville’s African American community referred to as “The Block.”
The trail and app was developed by members of the African American Cultural Trail with input from many in the community since 2019.
So far, it includes about a half dozen stops but additional content and potential stops will continue to be researched and added, organizers said.
“I am beyond excited to have our African American Cultural Trail launch this month,” said Andrew Schmidt, president and chief executive of Visit Greenville NC and committee chairman.
“The trail is a wonderful celebration of African American contributions to Greenville and Pitt County and adds a unique cultural amenity to our destination for both residents and visitors to experience,” he said.
Wednesday’s program will include remarks from Mayor P.J. Connelly, Pitt County Board of Commissioners Chairwoman Ann Floyd Huggins, Kyma Lassiter of the African American Heritage Commission, Jermaine McNair of NC Civil and Diane Taylor, chairwoman of the Greenville-Pitt County Convention & Visitors Bureau.
The event is open to the public but seating will be limited.
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