African-American Story in Richmond

Richmond Region Tourism
401 North 3rd Street
Richmond, VA 23219
Region Central Virginia
Locality Richmond City
Phone: (804) 783-7409

Day One:

See why Historic Jackson Ward became one of the most historic black communities in America and is known as the "Birthplace of Black Capitalism" and the "Harlem of the South." Visit the Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site. Walker was a black businesswoman and civic leader dedicated to improving the fortune of African-Americans and she was the first woman in America to charter and serve as president of a bank. The Black History Museum & Cultural Center of Virginia commemorates the lives and accomplishments of African-Americans in Virginia.

Visit Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church, organized in 1867 by Rev. John Jasper. Born a slave in 1812, he gained freedom to become a nationally celebrated preacher, known for his sermon "De Sun Do Move." Visit Maymont for "In Service and Beyond Exhibit." Learn the dynamics between the upper-class landowners and working-class staff of this Gilded Age mansion and 100-acre estate, complete with Nature Conservancy, Japanese Gardens, Italian Gardens, natural-setting zoo and tram for groups and riders of all ages.

Day Two:

Begin at the Richmond Slave Trail. Since the 17th century, Africans were imported into Richmond and sold into slavery. For 40 years prior to the Civil War, Richmond was the nation's center for the export of slaves. Now, as it was 150 years ago, this walk, a memorial to enslaved people, is an emotionally powerful experience. See the Richmond Slavery Reconciliation Statue. A tribute to emancipation and reconciliation, the statue depicts two people melded in an embrace and linked to identical memorials in Liverpool, England and Benin, Africa, signifying the triangle of the slave trade.

Explore the American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar, which tells the story of the Civil War through three interwoven perspectives: African-American, Union and Confederate.

Day Three:

Visit the State Capitol of Virginia, designed by Thomas Jefferson in the late 1700s, and stroll the grounds for the seven statuaries that grace the lawn. The Virginia Civil Rights Memorial, located on Capitol Square, was erected in honor of student-demonstration leader Barbara Johns. This demonstration led to the landmark case of Brown v. Board of Education.

Drive down Monument Avenue and view the stunning architecture and monuments dedicated to those who impacted Richmond. Included are local tennis champion and philanthropist Arthur Ashe Jr.

Explore The Jefferson Hotel where Bill "Bojangles" Robinson was discovered while waiting tables. You can see the statue commemorating this great man in historic downtown Jackson-Ward.

Sample African-American cuisine and a stirring traditional dance and drums highlighted by the colorful costumes of the Elegba Folklore Society.

Last Updated: 6/3/2014 4:46 PM