Video: Bridgeton Mayor Considers First Year of Freedom Tour A SuccessPosted:
BRIDGETON, N.J. – In its first year, "The Freedom Tour" has given both Cumberland County residents and visitors a look inside the history of the area and what it has to offer.
According to Bridgeton Mayor Albert Kelley, this recent tour is by bus and travels to various areas that are significant African American and American history.
"Many times we read the history books about historical events that happened in Philadelphia, historical events that happened in Boston and Washington and other areas. And so I want people to be proud of what freedom meant here,” said Kelley.
So this past spring, the Bridgeton mayor joined forces with multiple Cumberland County organizations to create "The Freedom Tour." The tour begins at the Quaker Meeting House, a historic home in Greenwich.
“You learn about the Quaker history and the Quaker influence in this area. The Quakers were instrumental in guiding and harboring runaway slaves, giving them opportunities," said Kelley.
From there several speakers explain different stops along the tour. However, the main speaker is Dr. Joan Bryant from Syracuse University, who is a former resident of the city of Bridgeton.
In its first year, over 200 people have climbed aboard the bus to get a history lesson right in Cumberland County and it's not just residents participating.
“People from New York, Delaware, Virginia, Pennsylvania were part of the tour. So it’s just not a local interest, it’s regional interest," said Kelley.
After what he calls a successful first year, the mayor is looking to grow the tour even more. So he’s asking residents to reach out to him through email at firstname.lastname@example.org if they have any other further information to include on the tour.
“It’s not just an African American thing, it’s an American tour about American history and I want our residents to understand the American history we have right here in our own backyard," said Kelley.