Meet John Chapman, Alexandria’s Black history tour guide, councilman and ‘Night Mayor’

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John Taylor Chapman is the owner of Manumission Tour Co., a member of Alexandria City Council and a fourth-generation Alexandrian. Manumission, defined as the formal emancipation from slavery, offers guided weekend walking and bus tours of Alexandria’s Black history February through December.

How do you decide what’s worthy of a Manumission tour stop? The stops chosen for our tours are based mostly on our research — sites must have significance to the story of Africans and African Americans in early Alexandria. They also must have a story that we believe will connect with our participants and allow them to consider some of the themes or concepts that we want to explore in our tours.

How often do you discover something that’s new to you about Alexandria’s Black history? All…

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