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African-American History in Alexandria

Minutes from the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington DC, experience African-American heritage through Alexandria's remarkable range of historic sites. Alexandria's rich history weaves through three centuries -- from the colonial era of George Washington's times, to slavery and the Civil War in the 19th century, to the struggles and triumphs of the 20th century Civil Rights Movement. Alexandria's historical sites detail an extraordinary journey of courage and resilience.

Inside Look Square   Edmondson Sisters Square   Must See African American Square

Inside Look

Take an inside look into Alexandria's history with the director of the Black History Museum

Courageous Journey

Walk through the rich and bountiful timeline of African-American history with this self-guided tour through Alexandria

Must See Sites

Experience history come to life in a range of remarkable sites

Freedmen Cemetery Square   Freedom House Square   African American Events Square

Freedmen Cemetery

Experience a new memorial park that commemorates free and escaped African-American men, women and children 

Freedom House

Learn about one of the largest slave pens in the country and Alexandria's connection to the movie 12 Years a Slave 


Celebrate African American achievement all year long.


Alexandria African-American Heritage Park

  • Holland Lane between Duke St. & Eisenhower Ave.
  • Alexandria, VA 22314

“Truths that Rise from the Roots Remembered” is the name of the bronze tree sculpture here that honors the contributions of African-Americans to the growth of Alexandria.…Learn More

Alexandria Archaeology

  • 105 N. Union Street, Torpedo Factory Art Center
  • Third Floor, #327
  • Alexandria, VA 22314

Step right into the museum's laboratory where archaeologists reconstruct Alexandria's history, fragment by fragment. Tues.-Fri. 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun. 1-5 p.m.…Learn More

Alexandria Black History Museum

  • 902 Wythe Street
  • Alexandria, VA 22314

Originally the segregated library for Alexandria's African American residents, the museum documents the local and national history, culture and contributions of Black America. Tues.-Sat. 10 a.m.-4…Learn More

Alexandria's Footsteps to the Past

  • Alexandria Visitors Center
  • 221 King Street
  • Alexandria, VA 22314

Owned by a ninth-generation Virginian, this company offers a daily 90-minute history tour from Ramsay House Visitors Center. March-Dec, (Jan-Feb by appointment only). Also offered by appointment a…Learn More

Bruin Slave Jail

  • 1707 Duke Street
  • Alexandria, VA 22314

The Bruin Slave Jail, at 1707 Duke Street, is on the National Register of Historic Places, and featured on the National Park Service website “Aboard the Underground Railroad.” The building is not open…Learn More

Carlyle House

  • 121 N. Fairfax Street
  • Alexandria, VA 22314

Nine enslaved African-Americans lived and worked at Carlyle House in 1780. Their names were Jerry, Joe, Cook, Penny, Charles, Sibreia, Cate, Moses and Nanny. These names are found on an inventory of…Learn More

Contrabands and Freedmen Cemetery Memorial

Between 1864 and 1869, the Contrabands and Freedmen’s Cemetery served as the burial place for about 1,800 African Americans who fled to Union-occupied Alexandria to escape from bondage. New in…Learn More

Fort Ward Museum & Historic Site

  • 4301 W. Braddock Road
  • Alexandria, VA 22304

Fort Ward is the best preserved of the extensive network of Union forts and batteries known as the Civil War Defenses of Washington. Fort Ward Museum interprets the site’s history, life within the…Learn More

Freedom House

  • 1315 Duke Street
  • Alexandria, VA 22314

In the stunning true story told in the major motion picture 12 Years a Slave, free Black man Solomon Northup is kidnapped and sold into slavery, where he subsequently spends an agonizing twelve years…Learn More

Mount Vernon: George Washington's Estate & Gardens

  • 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway,
  • Mount Vernon, VA 22121

The riverside estate of George Washington includes the Mansion, outbuildings, tomb, & working farm and visitor facilities with 25 galleries and theaters. Black History Month activities every February…Learn More

Soldiers Cemetery / Alexandria National Cemetery

  • Wilkes & Payne sts.
  • Alexandria, VA 22314

One of 12 sites created and dedicated by President Lincoln in 1862 to serve as military burial grounds. The cemetery holds some 3,500 graves of Civil War soldiers, including U.S. Colored Troops and…Learn More

Trip Advisor

Check out what other travelers say about Alexandria tourism on TripAdvisor.

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