Mayor Sylvester Turner joined the Heritage Society and descendants of the Rev. Jack Yates to make a memorable and significant announcement about three historic house sites located in Sam Houston Park.
UNESCO designated the Kellum Noble House, the Rev. Jack Yates House, and the Fourth Ward Cottage as part of its "Slave Route Project." The city owns the historic houses located in Fourth Ward, a neighborhood including Freedmen's Town that formerly enslaved people settled after the Civil War.
The three historic homes will be joining the following seven UNESCO Slave Route Project sites that were designated in 2019: Emancipation Park, 1872; Olivewood Cemetery, 1875; African American Library at the Gregory School, 1810; Reverend Ned Pullum and Emma Eddy Pullum House, 1897; Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, 1866; Middle Passage Ceremonies and Port Markers Project at the Port of Galveston, 18th and 19th centuries; and Workman’s Cottage, 1924.
"I am pleased we could make this important announcement to create a memorable end to Black History Month. Everyone is invited to tour the three houses and learn about the slave routes and the people who helped build our city and our country. Their contributions were significant," Turner said.
"It is vital that as we build for our future, we preserve our past so that it is never forgotten or repeated. African American history is American history, and we will continue to share the stories worldwide."
UNESCO launched the initiative in 1994 to contribute to a better understanding of slavery, to promote sites and itineraries of memory related to the slave trade and the contributions of the descendants of African people, and to preserve archives and intangible heritage associated with this history.
A long-term goal of the Slave Route Project is to create opportunities for heritage tourism, enabling visitors to follow the steps of the forced migration of slavery from Africa to North and South America, as well as other parts of the world such as the Middle East and Asia.