City of Alexandria Celebrates Black History Month

Page updated on Jan 31, 2020 at 8:25 AM

City of Alexandria Celebrates Black History Month

For Immediate Release: January 31, 2020

The City of Alexandria invites the public to celebrate Black History Month with special events and activities throughout February. Black History Month is an annual recognition and celebration of the history, culture, achievements and contributions of African Americans and persons of African descent in U.S. history. This year, Alexandria highlights two major initiatives related to African American history. First is the Equal Justice Initiative, which focuses on memorializing the history of lynchings that took place in Alexandria to truthfully and accurately reflect the City’s history. The second is the pending purchase of the Freedom House; once the offices of Franklin and Armfield, the largest domestic slave trading firm of the 1820s and 30s.

Join the celebration by attending special events, exhibits and other activities, including storytelling events for children and adults, film screenings, lectures and museum tours.

Recognition for black history was first advocated by African American author, journalist and historian Carter G. Woodson, who pioneered “Negro History Week” in 1926. The recognition was set for the second week in February, in honor of the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. In 1968, the Black United Students at Kent State University advocated that Negro History Week be extended into a monthlong commemoration, celebrating the first Black History Month on Kent State’s campus in 1970. Black History Month, which has been formally recognized in the United States since 1976, is also celebrated in Canada and the United Kingdom.

For the full schedule of events and more information about Black History Month, visit alexandriava.gov/BlackHistory

For media inquiries, contact Andrea Blackford, Senior Communications Officer, at andrea.blackford@alexandriava.gov or 703.746.3959.

For reasonable disability accommodation, contact blackhistory@alexandriava.gov or call 703.746.4356, Virginia Relay 711.

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This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/113412.



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