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Magazine Online    The Authority On African-American Conventions, Incentives, & Leisure Travel

The Attucks Theatre, built in 1919 is a regional mecca for entertainment and serves as a cultural center for the Black community. The Attucks theatre is the nation's oldest theatre designed, developed, financed and operated entirely by African-Americans. Once know as the "Apollo of the South," this theatre is a National Historic Landmark.

Another Norfolk site worth a visit is the West Point Monument at Elmwood Cemetery. It's recognized by many as the South's only known tribute to African-American veterans of the Civil and Spanish American Wars. The Virginia Civil War Trail site is marked by a statute of Sergeant Carney, the first Black solider to be killed during the Civil War.

To learn more about Norfolk and the Hampton Road area African-American historical and cultural landmarks go toVirginia.org.

RICHMOND, VA

Richmond is known as the birthplace of "Black Capitalism." To start your journey of discovery take a walking tour of the Jackson Ward neighborhood. The tour includes the Black History and Cultural Museum and Maggie Walker House. The museum exhibits artifacts that illustrate the history of African-Americans, with an emphasis on Virginians. One display you won't want to miss is the Richmond Counter. This is the counter where Virginia Union students conducted a sit-in at Woolworth's the second week of February 1960.

The Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site commemorates the life of this most talented of African-American women. Walker was the first woman in the United States to found and serve as president of a bank.

The Jackson Ward area was also the birthplace of dancer Bill "Bojangles" Robinson and there is a statue to commemorate his legacy. Robinson was best known for his tap dancing with child star Shirley Temple.

Monument Avenue runs through the heart of Richmond's historic Fan District. Turn-of-the-century mansions face historic Civil War monuments and a monument to tennis legend Arthur Ashe. Ashe is the first person other than a Confederate War hero to be immortalized on this famed avenue. The irony of it all is that as a child Ashe would have been unable to visit his own statue because of his skin color.

The Capitol Square Civil Rights Memorial recognizes the achievements of Barbara Johns. This brave 16-year-old girl led a walkout of fellow students, parents, community and civil rights leaders on a protest of the deplorable conditions at Robert R. Moton High School. Two civil rights attorneys filed suit on behalf of the students that eventually became part of the landmark Brown vs. the Board of Education decision that desegregated the nation's public schools.

To learn more about Virginia's cultural and heritage sites go to visitrichmondva.com.

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA

Virginia Beach is heavily invested in cultural and heritage tourism. The Virginia Beach CVB has put together cultural tours and will continue to do so as requested. These tours can encompass the entire Hampton Roads region, which includes Hampton, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Chesapeake. The CVB also does cooperative partnerships regionally promoting African-American heritage.

In Virginia Beach, the Morning Star Baptist Church, founded in 1892 by several members of Ebenezer Baptist Church is one of the oldest African-American churches still standing in the city. Church members are collecting memorabilia and artifacts that depict the lives of local African-Americans from 1892 to the late 1950's. These artifacts are periodically on display.

The Virginia Legends Walk honors Virginians by birth or residence who have made significant contributions to the nation and the world. Celebrated Virginians on the walk include Ella Fitzgerald, Booker T. Washington and Arthur Ashe.

Much of Virginia Beach's history is preserved in the form of plantation homes throughout the area.

To get more information on Virginia Beach go to vbfun.com.

DETROIT, MI

In 2008, Detroit became the first city to be designated an authentic African American Heritage Destination by TPOC. In 2009, Motown will be celebrating its 50th anniversary. Details have not been released just yet, but it promises to be a seminal event in Detroit history. Long known as "Hitsville USA," the Motown Historical Museum features some of the original equipment used by the Motown greats.

Plan to spend some time at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American history. It's the world's largest museum of its kind.

Take a tour of the Underground Railroad Living History Museum at the First Congregation Church in Detroit. Another integral part of the Underground Railroad systems that is worth a visit is the Second Baptist Church. In addition to tours, the church also offers a wonderful soulful meal to individuals as well as large groups.

Take a Motorcoach tour of Detroit and find out why the town was called "Midnight" on the Underground Railroad.

To learn more about Detroit go to visitdetroit.com

TAMPA, FL

Can you say Super Bowl 2009 - February 1 is the day when the world comes to a standstill for America's greatest spectator attraction. This would be an opportune time for those who plan to party in Tampa to take in some of the region's history and culture. If you can afford a little time off before the Super Bowl the Tampa Bay Black Heritage Festival takes place January 15 - 24. The festival features culture, art, food, poetry, gospel and a Battle of the Bands. Central Avenue formed the hub of old time Tampa's African-American community. It was a melting pot of cultural and socioeconomic affluence. The area featured law offices, nightclubs, restaurants, movie theaters and doctor's offices. Tampa is the home of Walter Armwood, the first African-American to own and operate a drug store in the United States. The history of Tampa will be captured with the opening of the Tampa Bay History Center in January 2009. To learn more about what Tampa has to offer go to visittampabay.com and make sure you inquire about the Multicultural Visitors Guide.

LOS ANGELES, CA

Heritage tourism plays a major role in Los Angeles' economy. It is estimated that one in five of the city's 26 million annual visitors participate in heritage and cultural tourism with total tourism adding $2.6 billion to the city coffers. The city has proclaimed January 2009 as arts and culture month to promote visitation to cultural and heritage institution. The city through (LA INC.) has a dedicated staff member to promote heritage and culture sites to both residents and visitors. Some of what you can see in Los Angeles includes the California African American Museum, the Black Firefighters Museum and Leimert Park, the hub of the African-American cultural experience. And there is more, like the Watts Towers and the Jackie Robinson Memorials in Pasadena. The El Pueblo Historical Monument is the site where Los Angeles was founded. Among the city founders were 40 African-Americans. Los Angeles is more than Hollywood. To learn the city's culture log on to discoverlosangeles.com, culturela.org or experiencela.com.


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