Since 2015, the Round Rock Black History Organization’s historical bus tour has helped enlighten citizens about black history in the Central Texas area.
For its fifth annual bus tour, the organization will travel further north to explore black history in Waco from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 15.
“We used to stay in Round Rock, Austin, Taylor and Georgetown, but this time we chose to venture out,” said Jessie Carson, the organization’s treasurer.
In honor of Black History Month, the “African-American Experience in Waco” tour will stop at the Baylor University Black Gospel Music Preservation Project. Established in 2007, the project’s aim is to preserve classic black gospel music from the Golden Age of gospel music between the mid-’40s to mid-’70s.
The bus will make another stop at Lev’s Gathering Place, a special listening room at Baylor University where visitors can access the entire archive of the gospel music project.
Other stops include Greenwood Cemetery, Waco’s historic African-American cemetery that dates back to 1875. The cemetery is the final resting place for some of Waco’s most notable African-American citizens, including Broadway singer Jules Bledsoe, accomplished professor Dr. Vivienne Lucille Malone-Mayes and Negro League baseball star Andrew Lewis Cooper.
The cemetery also hosts graves of both Union and Confederate soldiers who fought in the Civil War.
The tour will kick off at the Sweet Home Pinnacle of Praise, 3300 Sunrise Road in Round Rock. A mural in the church’s foyer depicts the African diaspora and significant African-American figures dating back to slavery in America. The church recently celebrated its 115th anniversary.
A light breakfast and a light lunch will be provided during the tour before the bus departs at 10 a.m. Tickets are $30 for adults and $25 for children 12 and younger.
Carson said spots are limited. Last year more than 60 people attended, she said.
For more information and to purchase tickets, call Carson at 512-567-2148. Tickets can also be purchased at the library’s administration office, 512-218-7005.