Site launches for new interactive African American Heritage Trail of Kansas City

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A new virtual trail is documenting more than 100 years of black history in the metro.

The African America Heritage Trail of Kansas City aims to connect sites and tell untold stories.

“We have been working over a year with a community to put together our virtual trail," said  Jeffrey Williams, director of KCMO City Planning & Development.

Each stop on the digital tour includes historical photographs and information, explaining its significance.

While some locations, like the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum are well known, many unknown places will get newfound acknowledgment and respect, the creators said.

RELATED: Hidden History: Celebrating the roots, legacy and future of the Negro Leagues after 100 years

"They wanted to make sure we covered all kinds of sites, sites that were places for amusement, work places, schools, residential places," Williams said.

"They also said we should focus on places that talked about history that was not in support of the African American experience in Kansas City."

The Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center served as host of the virtual site’s launch party Tuesday.

Glenn North, executive director of the center, said the new interactive, digital trail is an important piece of the African American experience in Kansas City.

“I’m 53, but a lot of people who are younger than me don’t know who Bruce R. Watkins was, and they don’t know how he paved the way for black political empowerment in Kansas City, and history needs to continue to be told," North said.

RELATED: Where schools nationally fail, some metro schools excel with black history classes

This digital tour is a collaboration between Kansas City Historic Preservation Office, the Historic Kansas City Foundation and the Black Archives of Mid-America, to name a few.

The next step is creating historic markers or even kiosks along the actual trail route.

Site creators are also still accepting suggestions for the interactive trail to grow. If you have ideas, click here.

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