Experience Black History in Alexandria at Important Sites

African American Heritage Park (Photo: R. Kennedy for Visit Alexandria)

ALEXANDRIA, VA – Alexandria has a rich history. Visit Alexandria, the city’s tourism bureau, today released information about sites important to this town’s Black history. A few can be experienced virtually. After reading the summaries below, you might want to learn more and explore further.

Summary excerpts from a blog post by Caroline Secrest of Visit Alexandria.

Parker-Gray High School Centennial and Earl Lloyd Statue

“On October 31, 1950, Earl Lloyd made his NBA debut as the league’s first African American player. 70 years later to the day, his statue will be installed at the former site of his alma mater, Parker-Gray High School, which opened 100 years ago and is now the Charles Houston Recreation Center and home to the Alexandria African American Hall of Fame. Information on a livestream of the statue induction can be found at the African American Hall of Fame’s website.”

Note: Due to the pandemic, access to the African American Hall of Fame is currently limited. Check the website or call 703-746-5504, Virginia Relay 711 for more information, and livestream the walkway unveiling on October 24, 2020.

Legalizing Interracial Marriage

“Head to the corner of King and N. Pitt St. in the heart of Old Town Alexandria to find a just-installed interpretive kiosk commemorating the 1967 Loving v. Virginia Supreme Court decision, which legalized interracial marriage throughout the United States.”

African American Heritage Trail

“The brand-new self-guided waterfront African American Waterfront Trail highlights the people, places and neighborhoods from the time of Alexandria’s founding through the 20th century. Pull up the StoryMap on your phone as you walk the 11-stop trail, beginning at Waterfront Park and making your way northward.”

Duke St. Black History Trail

“As one of multiple Great Walks in Alexandria, begin the Duke Street Black History Trail at Erik Blome’s Edmonson Sisters sculpture and end at the African American Heritage Park, whose centerpiece is a bronze tree sculpture onto which artist Jerome Meadows carved the names of African American citizens and sites.”

Manumission Tour Co. Underground Railroad Route

Manumission Tour Company’s newest route is set to debut on November 1, 2020 and tells the story of enslaved Alexandrians who fled to freedom, based upon the writings of abolitionist William Still and his 1872 book, ‘The Underground Railroad.’ “

Self-Guided Driving Tour

“Use our eight-site driving tour, created in fall 2020, to explore the African American history that shaped Alexandria and the United States, from D.C.’s onetime southern cornerstone laid by Benjamin Banneker to the site of one of the nation’s earliest sit-ins and more.”

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