Black History Month in Virginia

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February is Black History Month. Learn more about Black history in Virginia, as well as ways to celebrate.


Throughout the month of February, notable Black men and women of Virginia's history will be featured.

Rev Cozy Bailey Photo

Rev. Cozy Bailey


Rev. Cozy Bailey is the President of the Prince William County Chapter, NAACP, and currently serves as the Associate Minister of First Mount Zion Baptist Church in Dumfries, Virginia. He has served as an ordained minister since June 2010 which was preceded by his twenty-year service as a deacon. Rev. Bailey served as a Commissioned Officer in the United States Marine Corps (USMC) This tenure, he earned several accolades. He served in Operation Desert Storm, received the Navy Commendation Medal, Defense Meritorious Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, and the Legion of Merit before later retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. Rev. Bailey received his bachelor’s degree from the Naval Academy and he later obtained his master’s degree from Boston University both while actively serving in the military. Rev. Bailey is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated.

Learn More about Rev. Cozy Bailey

Photo of L. Louise Lucas

L. Louise Lucas


Senator L. Louise Lucas has been involved in social, civic and political activities most of her adult life and has served in elective office for 26 years. Senator Lucas began her federal career in 1967 as an Apprentice Shipfitter at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) in 1971 where she then became the first woman Shipfitter. Lucas began her public sector career path as Interim Executive Director of the Southeastern Tidewater Opportunity Project (STOP) in 1985, and was appointed Executive Director in 1986.

The senator was first elected to the Virginia General Assembly in November 1991 and continues to serve the citizens of Virginia's 18th Senatorial District

Learn More about L. Louise Lucas

Photo of Gregory Swanson

Gregory Hayes Swanson

Featured Man

Gregory Hayes Swanson, a Danville native, was a 26-year-old practicing lawyer when he filed a federal lawsuit to gain admission to UVA to pursue a master’s in law. The law faculty had supported his entry, but the UVA Board of Rectors opposed it. After he won his lawsuit, he was admitted in 1950, setting a precedent for racial integration at the University. Swanson was the first African-American student admitted to the University of Virginia.

Learn More about Gregory Hayes Swanson

Looking for additional featured people?

To view the archived featured list of notable black men and women of Virginia featured on click the button below.

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Check out the resources below to learn more on Black history in Virginia.


Below is a brief featured list of Black history attractions that provide great resources for learning more about Black history in Virginia.

Featured Attractions

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Click below to view more Virginia Black history attractions.

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Celebrate Black History Month in Virginia by participating in a variety of events.

2023 Black History Month Events In Virginia