There has been a great deal of discussion in the blogosphere the last week or so about African American attendance at Civil War related sites. The hope leading into the Sesquicentennial was that the changes in scholarship and interpretation since the Centennial would lead to increased African American attendance at Civil War battlefields this time around. Now that we are two and a half years into the 150th anniversary it seems clear that this is not the case. It is something that my wife and I speak a lot about when at Gettysburg and elsewhere. Anecdotally I would say we have seen very few black folks at battlefields, and it is not something I see changing anytime soon for myriad reasons. One aspect of heritage tourism that has changed, though, is the increase in African American visitation at other historical sites and monuments. The increase is readily apparent on the National Mall and will increase exponentially when the African American Museum opens in 2015. It is not just there, though. Yesterday’s USA Today has more. It is important to acknowledge the progress that has been made.
The future of heritage tourism
15 Thursday Aug 2013
Posted Civil War sesquicentennial, Heritage tourismin
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