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McClellan Bill: NJ Black Heritage Trail Advances

On the heels of Black History Month, the Assembly Tourism, Gaming, and the Arts Committee revived a measure sponsored by Cape May County’s first African American Assemblyman, Antwan McClellan to establish a New Jersey Black Heritage Trail.

“I am honored to help shine a light on New Jersey’s rich African history and encourage tourism to hidden Black heritage spots throughout the state,” said McClellan (R-Cape May). “From Ocean City’s former segregated Westside to Cape May’s new Harriet Tubman Museum, there are so many sites and stories that testify to our state’s important Black history.”

McClellan’s bill (A2677) passed the Assembly last session but stalled in the Senate. It creates a New Jersey Black Cultural and Heritage Commission and directs the Division of Travel and Tourism to work with the commission to identify a series of sites in the state that would connect the public to Black life and resiliency stories.

“This highlights Black abolitionists, veterans, artists, entertainers, and other leaders who have made their indelible marks on New Jersey’s history and deserve to be recognized and celebrated. It ensures that New Jersey’s Black history and culture will be properly documented and appreciated for future generations,” McClellan said.

The committee unanimously advanced the bill.