Longwood Gardens has partnered with storyteller Charlotte Blake Alston to connect the natural environment to stories of African American history and culture in a new audio tour.
The tour “Voices in the Landscape” is a self-guided audio tour that includes ten stops. At each stop, Blake Alston narrates a story and shares quotes or poems that connect what the visitor is seeing with Black history. At a stop near the garden’s Atlas cedars, a species native to Morocco, Blake Alston tells the folk tale “The Ancestor Tree.” On the Meadow Boardwalk, she evokes Frederick Douglass and describes the farmland he purchased as his final residence. Visitors can access the tour by scanning QR codes throughout the property with a smartphone. A transcription of the tour is also available.
Charlotte Blake Alston described to 6ABC what she hopes visitors take out of the experience. “I hope that I have given just another layer of the incredible depth and richness of the African American experience. The story of America, America’s identity, huge parts of it, is deeply rooted in us,” Black Alston said.
“Voices in the Landscape” runs until March 21, 2021. You can also experience the tour virtually here.