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Black History Month Events and Experiences in Alexandria, Virginia

January 26, 2022

Rebecca Doser, [email protected] or 703-652-5363
Claire Mouledoux, [email protected] or 703-652-5367

Black History Month Events and Experiences in Alexandria, Virginia

Virtual Events and Activities Extend Throughout February

Alexandria, VA— From a self-taught mathematician who mapped out the nation’s capital to abolitionist sisters who partnered with Frederick Douglass to the first Black player in the NBA, African American changemakers have shaped the history of Alexandria, VA and the United States.

Throughout Black History Month, participate in a range of virtual activities including a Manumission Tour Company “Freedom’s Fight” tour, a concert from Washington Revels Jubilee Voices hosted by the Alexandria Black History Museuma film screening of “Odessa’s Reign” from an Emmy-winning producer and additional events below.

Explore more ways to celebrate Black history and culture throughout February and year-round on Visit Alexandria’s Black History and Culture landing page.

Black History Month Events & Experiences

Manumission Tour Company Virtual Tour of Local Black History: Freedom’s Fight in Alexandria
February 3, 2022, from 5 to 7 p.m.
Admission: Free (Registration required)

Join Manumission Tour Company to (virtually) travel the streets of historic Old Town Alexandria and hear the little-known stories of Africans and African Americans, both enslaved and freemen, at a time when Alexandria, Virginia was one of early American’s main centers for the international and domestic slave trade. This program will give participants insight into Alexandria’s pre-civil war history of urban slavery, and highlight runaway enslaved individuals, like stepbrothers Oscar and George Ball, free African Americans like Moses Hepburn and early abolitionists, such as pharmacist Edward Stabler, who pushed back against the “Peculiar Institution” of slavery.

Manumission Tour Company curates guided cultural heritage tours designed to highlight Alexandria’s extensive African American History. Learn more here.

10% Discount on Manumission Tour Company Bookings Throughout February
Throughout February 2022
Admission: $15 per adult; $12 per child (pre-discount)
Tour locations vary within Old Town, Alexandria, VA 22314

Manumission Tour Company curates guided cultural heritage tours designed to highlight Alexandria’s extensive African American History. Owned by a fourth generation Alexandrian, Manumission Tour Company offers weekend guided walking and bus tours February through December. Tour routes include “Freedom’s Fight in Alexandria,” “Duke Street Black History” and “Still’s Underground Railroad.” Personalized group tours and step-on services are available by request.

An Afternoon Lecture with the Equal Justice Initiative
February 8, 2022, from 4 to 5 p.m.
Admission: Free (Registration required)

Attend an afternoon with Trey Walk, project manager with the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI). Join the Alexandria Community Remembrance Project (ACRP) to learn more about EJI and the ACRP’s work with them to educate Alexandria citizens about Alexandria’s two lynchings that occurred in 1897 and 1899.

The Life and Times of Colonial Charles Young: Presented by the National Parks Service
February 10, 2022, from 7 to 8 p.m.
Admission: Free (Registration required)

Join Park Ranger Roger Osorio, from the Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument, to learn the story behind Colonial Young’s life and the legacy he created. Charles Young, born to enslaved parents, persevered through racism and prejudice to become one of the first African American graduates from West Point Military Academy and went on to serve in many capacities and missions throughout the United States and the world at a time when opportunities for Black Americans were severely restricted. Please contact [email protected] with questions or for more information.

Storytime with the Alexandria Black History Museum
February 12, 2022, at 10 a.m.
Admission: Free

Educated kids during story time with the Alexandria Black History Museum, a collaboration with the Alexandria Library. Join Mrs. Lillian Patterson for story time and hear about African American history. The event is great for children ages 4 to 8, but all are welcome. Recurring story times occur on the second Saturday of each month.

A White Historian Explores “Race Riots” 
February 12, 2022, at 11 a.m.
Admission: Free (Registration required)

Violent clashes between large crowds of different races have disturbed the social order in the United States since long before the Civil War, and the phrase “race riot” has been used to describe such disparate events such as the Tulsa massacre of 1921, the 1968 uprisings following the assassination of Martin Luther King and the anti-Chinese riots of the 1870s. Susan Strasser investigates the term and a history of racially-charged violence that has framed American discussions of race throughout the nation’s history. Register here to receive the Zoom link.

Virtual Film Screening and Discussion of “Odessa’s Reign”
February 16, 2022, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Admission: Free (Registration required)

Tune into a film screening and discussion of “Odessa’s Reign” with producer Robin Hamilton. Crowned “Queen of the Underworld,” a Black female gangster runs the most lucrative gambling ring in D.C. in the 1950s and manages to keep the D.C. police in her back pocket. Runtime is 25 minutes. Robin Hamilton is an Emmy-award winning television host, producer and moderator for town halls and forums.  She is the founder and principal of the Around Robin Production Company, where she creates videos for non-profits to help with fundraising, marketing and messaging.

Washington Revels Jubilee Voices in Concert
February 19, 2022, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Admission: Free (Registration required)

The Alexandria Black History Museum presents the Washington Revels Jubilee Voices in concert. Join the Rebels as their members explore the rich history of African American music.

Left Behind: Stories from the Underground Railroad
February 22, 2022, from 7 to 8 p.m.
Admission: Free (Registration required)

Master Storyteller Sheila Arnold looks at what formally enslaved people left behind when they escaped to freedom. Freedom—it’s what we all desire, but if you had to leave something or someone behind, could you do it for the hope of a word called “freedom?”  Through story, song and audience interaction, Master Storyteller Sheila Arnold, looks at the fugitive slaves from the Underground Railroad and shares what they left behind – family, clothes, name and even life. There are surprises that were left behind as well, and this presentation brings humor along with thought-provoking moments. The program is historical storytelling at its best.  A one-hour program that begins with the audience’s thoughts and leads to stories that will stay in your mind long after the presentation has ended. Appropriate for all ages.


Named a Top 3 Best Small City in the U.S. 2021 by the Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards, Alexandria hums with a cosmopolitan feel and a walkable lifestyle—a welcoming weekend escape next to our nation’s capital. Founded in 1749, Old Town Alexandria is the nation’s third oldest locally designated historic district, boasting more than 200 independent restaurants and boutiques alongside intimate historic museums and new happenings at the waterfront. At the heart of it all is bustling King Street, a walkable mile recognized as one of the “Great Streets” of America. Walk in the footsteps of George Washington and America’s Founding Fathers while learning about Black history and African American changemakers that have shaped the history of Alexandria and the U.S. Learn more at

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