Learn about the people and places that help make DC the place it is today by exploring the African American Heritage Trail, Washington, DC, from Benjamin Banneker’s essential role in the survey of the District, to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial and beyond.
The African American Heritage Trail, Washington DC identifies sites that are important in local and national history and culture. The trail consists of a searchable database, a free booklet, and 100 plaques marking some of the more than 200 sites found in the database. Plaques added most recently mark:
• Engine Company No. 4, DC’s first all-black fire company
• Vermont Avenue Baptist Church, founded in 1866 by former slaves
• the home of Howard D. Woodson, one of DC’s influential architects and community leaders
• Washington Conservatory of Music, one of DC’s earliest arts institutions
Since the research was begun in 2000, Cultural Tourism DC has worked with community partners to identify and mark historically significant sites in African American history throughout Washington, DC.
The database provides information about each of the trail's more than 200 sites. Use the search engine to find an individual site, or click on the links below to find sites in each of 15 distinct neighborhoods. Sites located outside those neighborhoods are included in the quadrant links (Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, Southwest). The database also indicates which sites have been marked with plaques.
To nominate a site for the African American Heritage Trail, Washington DC click here.
For historical background, see A Brief History of African Americans in Washington, DC
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