New London Landmarks, Connecticut Fair Housing Center to host walking tour Saturday

New London — New London Landmarks and the Connecticut Fair Housing Center on Saturday will host a free walking tour, “Discrimination, Urban Renewal and New London’s Lost Neighborhood.”

The mile-long tour will be held from 1 to 2:30 p.m. and start on Huntington Street behind Ye Antientest Burial Ground. Lonnie Braxton II, vice president of the Norwich branch of the NAACP, and staff from both organizations will lead the tour and facilitate discussion.

The program is an interactive follow-up to an educational event the two organizations held earlier this year. It grew out of months of research by the groups to uncover the history of a mostly black neighborhood on and around Shapley Street that was wiped out by the 1960s Winthrop Cove Redevelopment Project.

"Although the majority of the 600 families displaced by this project were white, it had a disparate impact on New London’s black population," said Laura Natusch, executive director of New London Landmarks. “Through oral histories and photographs, we’ll explore what the neighborhood was like, the experiences of its former residents and the policies which led to its demolition."

This tour and an accompanying digital map were funded by a $1,450 grant awarded to New London Landmarks by Connecticut Humanities.

Connecticut Humanities, a nonprofit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, supports cultural and historic organizations that tell the state’s stories, build community and enrich lives.

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