Columbia approves route for trail honoring black history

Pair of legs walking on a trail in nature towards the light

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Columbia officials have approved the route of a walking trail to honor the city’s black history.

The Columbia City Council on Monday unanimously approved a plan to complete the African-American Heritage Trail. The 2-mile (3.2 kilometer) trail will commemorate over 30 sites identified as important to the black community, the Columbia Missourian reported.

The project includes 21 historical markers, some of which are already in place.

The trail’s first marker memorializes Sharp End, the historic black business district that was demolished in the 1960s during the city’s urban renewal process. The route will pass other famous spots, such as the home of African-American composer and pianist J.W. “Blind” Boone.

Other sites that have been dedicated include the former Stewart Road bridge, where James T. Scott, a black man, was lynched in 1923 after being accused of sexual assaulting the daughter of a University of Missouri professor. In 2016, the university’s Association of Black Graduate and Professional Students raised money for a plaque in Scott’s memory.

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