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

FAIRFAX COUNTY

Explore the history and culture of African-Americans in Northern Virginia and the Washington D.C. Region, from the 18th century to today. Visit Gum Springs Historical Site (the oldest African-American community in Fairfax County, founded by freed George Washington slave West Ford), the Lincoln Memorial, and the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art. The African American Heritage experience offers visitors the opportunity to journey through, and reflect on, the struggles as well as the important contributions of African-Americans in the area's history.

Check out the Sully Historic Site. The home of Richard Bland Lee, northern Virginia's first congressman, the main house at Sully was built in 1794. The house is furnished with antiques of the federal period. Outbuildings include a kitchen, smokehouse, slave quarters and stone dairy. Formal and kitchen gardens complement the house. Educational programs, craft demonstrations and living history events are offered throughout the year, along with guided tours, highlighting the early 19th century life of the Lee Family, tenant farmers, and enslaved African-Americans. The site is included on the National Register of Historic Places.

HAMPTON ROADS

Hampton's historical and multicultural heritage sites trace America's 400-year history. Hampton University was founded as the Hampton Normal and Industrial Institute on the beautiful shores of the Hampton River in 1868 by General Samuel Chapman Armstrong as a place to train newly freed African-Americans. The Hampton University Museum is the oldest museum of African-American art in the United States. It moved into the Huntington Building after a $5 million renovation in 1997 and features 34,000 sq. ft. and 10 galleries with 12,000 sq. ft. of gallery space that contain over 9,000 African, African-American and Native American art objects plus an education center. This Smithsonian-quality museum features top drawer permanent and changing exhibitions including the John Biggers exhibit, that drew record crowds; museum staff publishes The International Review of African American Art - one of the only periodicals devoted to African-American art. Make sure you check out the Booker T. Washington Memorial Garden and Statue. A former slave, Booker T Washington graduated from Hampton University in 1875; through his doctrine and practice of self-help by African-Americans he became the preeminent "Negro Leader" of his time as recognized by Anglo-Americans. His greatest legacy is founding prestigious Tuskegee Institute in Alabama.

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