Stephanie LeBris

Boston African American National Historic Site Welcomes Stephanie LeBris

Recently, BOAF had the pleasure of welcoming Stephanie LeBris as a visiting tour guide from the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in France. The cemetery, which is run by the American Battle Monuments Commission, was established on June 8, 1944 as the first American cemetery on European soil during the Second World War. It is home to the graves of 9,387 American military personnel, most of whom lost their lives during D-Day landings and operations.

As part of developing a new English language interpretive program in the cemetery, Stephanie was selected to come to the U.S. and work with NPS to learn more about becoming an interpretive guide. During her first week of training, Stephanie focused on learning different techniques for developing interpretive programs, including how to construct tours around main ideas and organizing outlines based on themes. She says it was great to know how to use established practices to convey specific ideas and emotions to visitors.

For her second week with the program, Stephanie chose to come to BOAF to see how we develop and present interpretive programs to the public. She requested to come to this site, partly because of the role that African Americans played in the Battles at Normandy. As part of her work there she has had the opportunity to acquaint herself with the experiences of the one hundred black men who are buried at that site and she wanted to know more about black history in the U.S.

During her week with BOAF, Stephanie had the opportunity to develop her own tour of the Black Heritage Trail®. Stephanie says that it was great to learn about the free black abolitionists and what they thought was important. While she found she was very nervous to give her tour, it turned out to be a great experience. She reports that people were very interested in the presentation. She hopes that if she has the opportunity to return, she would be able to learn more about the history at BOAF and develop a longer and more detailed tour of the site.

Last updated: February 26, 2015

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