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Springfield Black History hike is this weekend

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The free 90 minute guided hike will focus on the history of the African American community in Springfield through the experiences of some of the citizens buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery.

Many of the graves are located in Block 5, originally designated as the “colored” section. Some of the stories to be told include Lewis Martin, whose photograph, showing his wounds, became one of the most iconic images of the Civil War, William Donnegan, whose brutal lynching during the Springfield Race Riot helped inspire the founding of the NAACP, and Jameson Jenkins, one of Abraham Lincoln’s neighbors, who was involved in the Underground Railroad, risking his own life to help others escape to freedom.

“As we learn more about the history before our eyes in our own communities, we gain a clearer picture of our duties to preserve and celebrate all history – of all cultures – all year round,” Alderman Shawn Gregory said. “The words ‘stronger together’ have never had more meaning to me.”

Meet your guide in the Lincoln Tomb parking lot. As the program is outdoors, it will be cancelled if inclement weather occurs.

Not that the program will involve walking up and down hills, using stairs, and crossing uneven and unpaved surfaces; good shoes are recommended.

Register here as participation is limited.

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