© 2024 Connecticut Public

FCC Public Inspection Files:
WPKT · WRLI-FM · WEDW-FM · Public Files Contact
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Historic walking tour in Amherst highlights Black, Indigenous families

A walking tour in Amherst, Massachusetts, featuring historic sites of the town's first Black and Indigenous families kicked off this past weekend in celebration of Juneteenth.

Anika Lopes, founder of the tour, said she wants to connect residents of color with their history. Black residents make up 5% of the population in Amherst while white residents make up 73% of the population, according recent Census data.

"You have young Black youth that walk around Amherst, numerous town buildings and do not see a representation of themselves," Lopes said. "They do not know that there is Black history in Amherst and just exposing them to that immediately is life changing."

Lopes' organization, Ancestral Bridges, has made the Amherst tour available to view virtually on its website.

Lopes said she wanted to launch the tour during Juneteenth weekend because some Black military soldiers, buried in West Cemetery in Amherst, traveled to Texas in 1865 to deliver the order that freed 250,000 enslaved Black people.

Lopes is working on extending the tour beyond Juneteenth weekend.

Nirvani Williams covers socioeconomic disparities for New England Public Media, joining the news team in June 2021 through Report for America.

Stand up for civility

This news story is funded in large part by Connecticut Public’s Members — listeners, viewers, and readers like you who value fact-based journalism and trustworthy information.

We hope their support inspires you to donate so that we can continue telling stories that inform, educate, and inspire you and your neighbors. As a community-supported public media service, Connecticut Public has relied on donor support for more than 50 years.

Your donation today will allow us to continue this work on your behalf. Give today at any amount and join the 50,000 members who are building a better—and more civil—Connecticut to live, work, and play.

Related Content