February is Black History Month. Learn more about Black history in Virginia, as well as ways to celebrate.
“Fort Monroe in Virginia was the site where the first Africans were brought in shackles to the Americas as slaves, and later Fort Monroe served as the first legal safe haven for freedom seekers before the Emancipation Proclamation. Throughout American history, Black Virginians have shown resilience and perseverance through political, social, and cultural oppression, from slavery, through Jim Crow and massive resistance, and have risen above to shape our lives today in countless ways.
Virginia was home to many distinguished and impactful Black Americans, including civil rights pioneers Oliver Hill, Spottswood Robinson, Booker T. Washington, Dr. Robert Russa Moton, Maggie L. Walker, Dorothy Height, and Mary W. Jackson, to name a few. Black Virginians continue to shape the economic, cultural, political, and landscapes of Virginia and the country. Today we recognize the historical obstacles and injustices that have been overcome, the work yet to be done, and stand in celebration for the successes of those who dared to challenge odds and barriers, and we remain committed to a bright future of opportunities for all.”
- Governor Glenn Youngkin
Throughout the month of February, notable Black men and women of Virginia's history will be featured.
Check out the resources below to learn more on Black history in Virginia.
In observance of Black History Month, the Library of Virginia and Dominion Energy honor distinguished Virginians, past and present, as Strong Men & Women in Virginia History for their important contributions to the state, the nation, or their professions.
The Library of Virginia's African American Narrative project aims to provide greater accessibility to pre-1865 African American history and genealogy found in the rich primary sources in its holdings.
Below is a brief featured list of Black history attractions that provide great resources for learning more about Black history in Virginia.
Celebrate Black History Month in Virginia by participating in a variety of events.