Alexandria Celebrates Black History Month

Black History Month is an annual recognition and celebration of the history, achievements and contributions of African Americans and persons of African descent in U.S. history. The City of Alexandria invites the public to celebrate Black History Month through special events and activities throughout February.

Page updated on Feb 5, 2018 at 11:56 AM

Tours

February Tours of the Freedom House Museum

The Office of Historic Alexandria and the Northern Virginia Urban League are excited to announce a collaboration for Black History Month. On Saturdays during February, Freedom House Museum will be open from 1-5 p.m. The Freedom House Museum was once the headquarters and holding pen for the largest domestic slave trading firm in the United States, Franklin and Armfield. Enslaved people were brought from the Chesapeake Bay area and forced to the slave markets in Natchez, Mississippi and New Orleans either by foot or ship. 

The building is currently owned by the Northern Virginia Urban League and together with the Office of Historic Alexandria, we invite you to visit the museum in this historic reminder of slavery.

Admission is $5 per person. Tickets can be purchased online, or by cash or check at the door. Space is limited and reservations are recommended.  Groups of 7 or more should contact 703.746.4739 at least one week in advance to arrange a time to visit. 

Ramsey Homes Open House

Originally built during World War II as temporary housing for African American defense workers, the Ramsey Homes are early examples of the use of precast “Fabcrete” concrete panels. The City of Alexandria and ARHA staff invite you to join us for a final exploration of the buildings’ innovative construction technology, before they are demolished later this year.

As part of the Section 106 process related to the redevelopment of the Ramsey Homes, these open houses are part of the effort to document and preserve the history of these unique structures.

On the day of the open house, check in at the Alexandria Black History Museum, 902 Wythe St., 703.746.4356. For more information, contact Cdickerson@arha.us.  


Exhibits

  • Before the Spirits are Swept Away: African American Historic Site Paintings, Alexandria Black History Museum, 902 Wythe St. These paintings are part of the late Sherry Sanabria’s “Sites of Conscience” series, which has as its focus African American heritage, prisons, concentration camps, and mental hospitals. The Sites of Conscience series takes viewers to places of horror, places of pain and suffering, places we want to forget, but never should. The Black History Museum is open Tuesday to Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free. For more information, visit alexandriava.gov/BlackHistory or call 703.746.4356.
  • 1939 Library Panel Sit-in Display, Beatley Central Library, 5005 Duke St.
    During February, Alexandria Library will host a 16-panel display on the 1939 Library Sit-In to commemorate the civil rights movement. Come learn about the 1939 Library Sit-In and about local civil rights activist Samuel Tucker.  For more information about the 1939 sit-in, visit www.librarysitin.org.
  • Artwork from the winners of the 2018 Martin Luther King, Jr. Poster Contest will be on exhibit at City Hall (301 King St.) until February 28. The annual contest, sponsored by the Alexandria Black History Museum and the Alexandria Society for the Preservation of Black Heritage, is for Alexandria City Public School students in grades 2-5.  This year’s contest theme is: “Serving the People, Serving America, Serving Alexandria." 

Virtual Tours

Visit the Black History Museum, t he African American Heritage Park and the Contrabands and Freedmen Cemetery Memorial on Google 360 virtual tours.  


The City of Alexandria is committed to compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended. To request a reasonable accommodation, e-mail black.history@alexandriava.gov.

 

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