There is a rich African American history in Arlington, Virginia. The county was the site of Freedman’s Village and is home to historical landmarks, neighborhoods and other important sites. “African American history in Arlington is interwoven into the overall fabric of the County,” says John Liebertz, author of A Guide to the African American Heritage of Arlington County, Virginia.
Places to Visit
Arlington National Cemetery
is the final resting place for many
famous African Americans including U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood
Marshall, Matthew Alexander Henson; co-discoverer of the North Pole;
Medgar Evers and Allard Lowenstein, slain civil-rights leaders; and Joe
Louis, legendary world heavyweight boxing champion.
addition to notable grave sites, the cemetery is home to Arlington House
, once the
home of Robert E. Lee and his family. The historic site is currently undergoing
renovations and will reopen in the fall
of 2019. Visitors will able to peer into the slave quarters and learn
about the experience of the Syphax family, who served the Custis and Lee
families and were one of the most influential slave families in Arlington
at that time.
Green Valley Neighborhood and its Churches
The bedrock of Arlington's African-American legacy is in its several
strong, historically black communities, such as Green Valley, a neighborhood in
South Arlington. Green Valley was settled by free blacks such as Levy and Sarah
Ann Jones, who built their homes in 1844, nearly 20 years before the Civil War.
Arlington also has several museums that recognize
African American history. For a dose of local history, stop into the Arlington Historical Museum
in the Hume School, the oldest school building in Arlington. The Black Heritage Museum
African American history with exhibits on Freedman’s Village, Virginia public
school desegregation and more.
Your Gateway to the
Region’s African American History
Arlington also is the perfect home base to journey
through the lens of the African American experience throughout the region.
Visit the nearby sites in Washington, DC such as the Smithsonian’s National
Museum of African American History and Culture located steps from where Martin
Luther King Jr. gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech during the March on
Posted by: Arlington Convention and Visitors Service
Posted on: 16/03/2020