Discover Arlington’s African American Heritage

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.
In 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.
The Historical 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.
African American Museums
Arlington also has several museums that recognize African American history. For a dose of local history, stop into the Arlington Historical Museum housed in the Hume School, the oldest school building in Arlington. The Black Heritage Museum shares 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 Washington.
Find out more about African American history in Arlington with this Guide to African American Heritage in Arlington County, Virginia.


Posted by: Arlington Convention and Visitors Service
Posted on: 16/03/2020

Discover Arlington’s African American Heritage - by Arlington Convention and Visitors Service

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