The mission of the Black History Museum is to enrich the lives of Alexandria's residents and visitors, to foster tolerance and understanding among all cultures and to stimulate appreciation of the diversity of the African American experience. The institutional complex is composed of the Museum, the Watson Reading Room, and the Alexandria African American Heritage Park.
Audrey P. Davis has been appointed Director of the Alexandria Black History Museum. She has worked at the museum for 21 years, serving as Acting Director since July 2012. She is a past president of the Alexandria Historical Society and the Virginia Association of Museums, and served on the board of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and Public Policy from 2004 through 2010.
A three-part film series, Created Equal, is co-presented by the Humanities Council of Washington DC, the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, and the Alexandria Black History Museum and sponsored by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.
The film Freedom Riders will be presented by the Alexandria Black History Museum this fall. Slavery by Another Name will be presented by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities/Institute for Historical Biology at William & Mary.
The first film in this series, The Loving Story was screened on June 19 at the Aspen Institute in Washington, DC. This film told the story of Loving v. Loving, the landmark Civil Rights case that ended anti-miscegenation laws that banned interracial marriage. The case was argued in the Supreme Court by Alexandria attorney Bernard S. Cohen, later a member of the Virginia legislature.
Alexandria Contrabands & Freedmen Cemetery served as the burial place for about 1,800 African Americans who fled to Alexandria to escape from bondage during the Civil War. The layout of the cemetery, revealed by historical and archaeological research, is reflected in the design of the Memorial at S. Washington and Church Streets.
Dedication Ceremony, Saturday September 6, 2014.
Watch short videos on Comcast Newsmakers:
Yolanda Vazquez sits down with Char McCargo Bah, professional genealogist, to talk about the celebration. (July 22, 2014)
Final work is now taking place to complete the Memorial. Explore photo galleries of the construction, and read more about the Contrabands and Freedmen Cemetery Memorial history, archaeology of the site, and commemoration ceremonies.
Freedmen's Cemetery Ornament: The ornament commemorates the 150th anniversary of the cemetery’s first burial and the memorial’s official opening in September, 2014.The ornament depicts Mario Chiodo’s passionate statue, The Path of Thorns and Roses, framed by the memorial’s arched entranceway. As the centerpiece of the memorial, the statue depicts the allegoric figures of Oppression, Struggle, Sacrifice, Loss, Compassion, and Hope. Available for $18.00 from Alexandria's museum shops and online from The Alexandria Shop.
Visit Fort Ward Park to see new historic signage highlighting the post-Civil War African American community known as The Fort. A copy of The Fort Heritage Trail Brochure is available online.
This community is the focus of an effort by the Office of Historic Alexandria to study and preserve the post-Civil War historic resources of Fort Ward Park. Archaeological excavations in the park, historical research, and oral histories highlight our growing knowledge of this community. Learn about the Stakeholder Advisory Group, and about archaeological and historical research, including reports on excavations, transcriptions of oral history interviews with former residents.
Watch short videos about the Contrabands and Freedmen Cemetery Memorial on Comcast Newsmakers:
American Alliance of MuseumsAccredited Museum
Alexandria Black History Museum902 Wythe StreetAlexandria, Virginia 22314Phone: 703.746.4356Fax: 703.706.3999Email
Museum Hours:Tuesday - Saturday10 a.m. to 4 p.m.Admission - $2.00
Office Hours:Tuesday - Saturday9 a.m. to 5 p.m.by appointment only