African American Programs

The Virginia Foundation for the Humanities is committed to uncovering and sharing the complexity and richness of Virginia’s African-American history while creating opportunities for Virginians to explore this richness and complexity for themselves.

Our guiding assumption is that African-American history is not separate from the mainstream Virginia story.  It is integral and essential to any fruitful understanding of life in the Commonwealth.  Our goal is to create and then disseminate the most layered and diverse “portrait” of the Virginia narrative that we can in the hope that this offering adds depth, context, texture and truth to our shared sense of history and living in the Commonwealth.

Evans Hotel

Historic Sites Database

The database is an online, searchable resource for finding historic sites closely identified with the experience of African Americans in Virginia.

Previous Initiatives

Virginia Africana: The Network of Museum, History, And Preservation Professionals

Griot Apprenticeships: The Griot Apprenticeship pairs a Griot (community historian or tradition bearer) with a local apprentice, scholar and student for a 12-month period.

Think Historically, Act Locally: Think Historically, Act Locally sought to revive an interest in local and state history by establishing connections between educators and Virginia’s African American historic sites.


Transition for the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and Virginia Africana

Explore More: African American Heritage

unidentified man-resized

The Flip Side

A portrait of an unknown man from 1825 has a secret that shows the violence at the heart of slavery.
The former Dan River Fabrics building in Danville.  Installation of the “Home” sign was a community event sponsored by the History United Project and the Danville Historical Society in 2016.  Photo courtesy of Mark Aron and the Danville Regional Foundation.

History United

With major funding from the Danville Regional Foundation, VFH has launched a three-year project using local history to create a stronger future for the Danville region.