Alexandria organizes online, socially-distant events to celebrate Black History Month

Go on a self-guided tour of the African American Waterfront Trail, which highlights people, places and neighborhoods from Alexandria’s founding through the 20th century.

A historical marker highlighting the Alexandria Library sit-in is a part of the self-guided tour.

What's new in Alexandria. (photos by Evan Michio for Visit Alexandria)
The Freedom House Museum on Duke Street was once part of the headquarters for the largest domestic slave trading firm in the United States.

A new mini kiosk commemorating the 1967 Loving v. Virginia Supreme Court decision, which legalized interracial marriage, is located on the corner of King and N. Pitt Streets.

The Edmonson Sisters sculpture is a tribute to two teenage sisters who attempted escape from slavery and were captured and held in Alexandria’s Bruin Slave Jail. They later became vocal abolitionists.

Sign up to go on a curated cultural heritage tour that highlights Alexandria’s African-American history.

What's new in Alexandria. (photos by Evan Michio for Visit Alexandria)

With Black History Month celebrations now underway, Alexandria, Virginia, is highlighting multiple landmarks and events as part of the monthlong celebrations.

On Monday, the Office of Historic Alexandria released all of its virtual resources to the public, including an encore presentation of the 48th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Program from Jan. 15. at 7 p.m., featuring new remarks by Sen. Mark Warner.

As part of the city’s Story Time for Young Historians, a reading of Harriet and the Promised Land, by Jacob Lawrence, will be released Tuesday on Historic Alexandria’s YouTube page.

For those interested in getting away from the computer, the city suggests an eight-site Black history driving tour, which includes a visit to D.C.’s onetime southern cornerstone, laid by Benjamin Banneker in Jones Point Park.

The tour also includes African American Heritage Park on Holland Lane. It was created on the site of the oldest known independent African American burial ground, known as the Black Baptist Cemetery. Those who cannot attend the driving tour, or linger around the park with a mask on, can take a virtual tour.

The group also recommends booking a spot on Manumission Tour Company’s newest route, which tells the story of enslaved Alexandrians. The tour is based on abolitionist William Still’s 1872 book “The Underground Railroad,” which described how slaves used the Railroad to escape to freedom.

The tour may feature stopping by the Edmonson Sisters sculpture. It is a tribute to two teenage sisters who attempted escape from slavery. They were held captive in Alexandria’s Bruin Slave Jail, and once released, they became vocal abolitionists.

The art installation “Wrought, Knit, Labors, Legacies” can be found at its new temporary home in the Parker-Grey neighborhood, at 1609 Cameron St. Created by Olalekan Jeyifous, the display shows African American history through the lens of the city’s industrial and merchant history.

You can also download StoryMap on your smartphone and walk the African American Waterfront Trail along the Potomac River. At a leisurely pace, the walking trail lasts about 45 minutes.

The city has future plans to honor African Americans and their contributions, including an online video series called “Agents of Change” and the reopening of Freedom House Museum this summer with a new traveling exhibit.

All the events happening during Black History Month can be found on the Alexandria Visitor Center’s website and their Black History & Culture webpage.

WTOP’s Sandy Kozel contributed to this report.

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