A consortium of community, business and nonprofit leaders has committed $55,000 to erect historical markers and interpretative signs commemorating and celebrating the history of Lexington’s black residents.
Together Lexington has hosted community meetings on various topics over the past several months focusing on issues such as race relations, crime and affordable housing. Community members at those meetings discussed the public’s lack of understanding and knowledge of the contributions of Lexington’s black community.
“There was also a need to better tell that story and incorporate it in places where people are likely to see it,” said Carla Blanton, a member and spokeswoman of Together Lexington.
In coming months, a group of community members will choose what parts of black history will be honored by the markers. They will also hire a project manager. They hope the committee will start its work in June. When the first marker will be erected will depend on the work of that committee. Fortunately, there has been a lot of research on Lexington’s black history, Blanton said.
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“We think we will have enough for 10 markers,” Blanton said. The group may raise more money or find other funding sources for additional markers.
The goal is to have signs that can include pictures and lots of additional information. The markers could also become part of a walking tour of black history much like Boston’s Freedom Trail, a more than 2-mile loop through Boston that stops at 16 different historic sites.
“We think it can turn into a walking tour that both longtime Lexington residents and visitors to the area will enjoy and use,” Blanton said.