From the site of one of the nation’s earliest sit-ins to the oldest active historically Black congregation, Alexandria, Virginia, is offering a new tour, and it’s rich with history.
It’s called “The Courageous Journey: Alexandria’s Black History Driving Tour.” The self-guided tour is made up of eight sites.
Visitors are invited to begin at Barrett Branch Library on Queen Street, where 26-year-old attorney Samuel Tucker and five other African-American men held a sit-in in 1939. Blocks away is the city’s Black History Museum, which sits on what used to be the site of the only library for Black people in Alexandria.
Not far away, visitors can stop by the Alfred Street Baptist Church, which dates back to the 19th century and was probably designed and built by free Black craftsmen.
Along the waterfront, there’s the “Wrought, Knit, Labors, Legacies” sculpture, on display there through November. Its purpose is to shed light on the city’s once bustling port that was a result of the slave trade.
“The Fort” African American Community Site is another historical stop, established by a group of formerly enslaved Black people. Homes, churches and a school once stood on the grounds.
Check out the complete list of stops here. A map of the sites is shown below.