Singleton Legislation to Establish Black Heritage Trail, Cultural Commission Advances

Trenton – The Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee today advanced legislation sponsored by Senator Troy Singleton that would require the Division of Travel and Tourism to establish both an NJ Black Cultural and Heritage Commission and a Black Heritage Trail.

The bill, S-1805, would direct the Division of Travel and Tourism Division in the Department of State to identify–in consultation with the New Jersey Black Cultural and Heritage Commission, which would be established under the bill–a series of Black heritage sites to be part of a New Jersey Black Heritage Trail.

The Commission would consist of 11 members: two public members, one each, at the recommendation of the Senate President and Senate Minority Leader; two public members, one each, to be recommended by the Assembly Speaker and Minority Leader; all to be confirmed and appointed by the Governor; and the final seven members to be appointed directly by the Governor.

“For nearly 400 years, Black Americans have been part of New Jersey’s history. Black heritage and history has, for far too long, gone underrepresented and untold despite our contributions to industry, culture and arts,” said Senator Singleton (D- Burlington). “The purpose of the Black Heritage Trail is to promote and honor these achievements through education, public programs, and historical markers.”

The bill was released from committee by a vote of 5-0.