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Unveiling Alexandria’s Black History: A Juneteenth Journey from Antebellum to Civil Rights

June 15 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm


Explore Alexandria’s Role in the Struggle for Freedom on Our African American History Tour

This Juneteenth, embark on a thought-provoking tour of the Wilkes Street Cemetery Complex and uncover Alexandria’s African American legacy. From the antebellum era to the Civil Rights Movement, you’ll explore the hidden tales of resilience, courage, and triumph that have shaped this city’s history.

Half of the cost of your ticket will be given to the Friends of the Douglas Cemetery or Social Responsibility Group, both of which are dedicated to rehabilitating and preserving the Douglas Cemetery, which is within the Wilkes Street Cemetery Complex.

Discover the Edmonson Sisters’ Brave Escape:

Hear the heart-wrenching story of Mary and Emily Edmonson, whose daring escape attempt aboard The Pearl in 1848 captured the nation’s attention. Their plight inspired Harriet Beecher Stowe’s groundbreaking novel, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” and shed light on the profound contributions of Alexandria’s African American community.

Honor the United States Colored Troops:

Pay tribute to the sacrifices of the United States Colored Troops at Alexandria National Cemetery. Here, over 3,900 Union soldiers, including 249 USCT, found their final resting place after a groundbreaking 1864 Civil Rights protest. Additionally, honor civil rights pioneer Reverend Fields Cook, who tirelessly fought for equality.

Reflect on Tragic Lynchings:

During this tour, you’ll also reflect on the tragic lynchings of two African Americans in the late 1800s. These somber moments serve as a reminder of the challenges faced by Alexandria’s African American community and their unwavering resilience in the face of adversity.

Witness the Triumphs of the Civil Rights Era:

Discover the inspiring story of Alexandria’s T.C. Williams High School football team, immortalized in the film “Remember the Titans.” Learn about Julius Campbell’s pivotal leadership role in uniting this integrated squad, which triumphed as state champions amidst the racial divides of 1971.

Tour Details:

During this enlightening one-hour walking tour, you’ll explore several historic cemeteries within the Wilkes Street Cemetery Complex. Our knowledgeable guides will bring the past to life, offering insights and stories illuminating Alexandria’s African American legacy.


This Juneteenth, celebrate the enduring spirit and triumphs of Alexandria’s African American community. Book your spot now for “Unveiling Alexandria’s African American Legacy: A Juneteenth Journey from Antebellum to Civil Rights,” and be prepared to be moved by the powerful stories that have shaped this city’s history.


June 15
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Event Category:




Wilkes Street Cemetery Complex
Wilkes St & Hamilton Ave
Alexandria, VA 22314 United States
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Alexandria African American History Tour
Date: June 15, 2024. Time: 1:00 p.m. Duration: 1 hour Meeting Point: 1475-1501 Wilkes St, Alexandria, VA 22314 (Look for the "Gravestone Stories" badge). What to Wear and Bring: Comfortable walking shoes and weather-appropriate attire Sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, water, and camera (optional) Important Notes: No restrooms are available at the cemetery. For more information, visit: https://gravestonestories.com/tours/ If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.
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