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'The Soul of Port Arthur' | New self-guided tour showcases African American history, culture in Port Arthur

The self-guided tour brings attendees to historical places where they can learn more about African American history and culture.

PORT ARTHUR, Texas — Port Arthur has a diverse heritage that was shaped by diverse voices and officials created a tour to show off the history and keep it alive.

Port Arthur Convention and Visitors Bureau put together a self-guided tour called “The Soul of Port Arthur.” The self-guided tour brings attendees to historical places where they can learn more about African American history and culture.

On the city's website, officials say, "African-American experience is part of Port Arthur’s diverse heritage. We honor music, community, faith and even food in a proud culture. Our “City by the Sea” is strong, reflecting pride that matters."

MORE | Learn more about The Soul of Port Arthur tour here

The self-guided tour highlights the people and places that were key in shaping the Port Arthur that Southeast Texans today. The tour shows that the city by the sea has a lot of soul. 

One place the tour showcases is the Port Arthur Public Library. The building is filled with books about the trailblazers who made their mark. 

“Accommodating the cultural diversity has been a part of my vision, and collectively working with some of the most important entities,” Carolyn Thibodeaux, children and youth librarian, said.

Port Arthur’s only Black-owned radio station, 96.9 the breeze is a stop on the tour. The station has entertained community members for 25 years  

The CEO of the station is Stephen Mosley.

“It gives the community a chance to see that there is a African American-owned radio station, that has stood the test of time,” Mosley said. “Through actual weathers and storms and everything else. We are still here.”

City officials believe the tour showcases the talent that comes out from Port Arthur and teaches about a history that is important to learn.

The tour aims to help show off Port Arthur's exhibit, mural and historical site to educate Southeast Texans, showcase the city and continue putting the it on the map.

“We want the locals as you say, who are already proud of their community, our goal here at the visitors bureau to let them know what's going on in the way of our Cajun flare and so people can come about ” Darragh Castillo, experience manager for the convention & visitors bureau, said. “These are all just little nuggets to get people started and keep that history alive.”

The self-guided tour is here to stay. Those who can't check out the tour during Black History Month can take the tour all year round.

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