The African American Heritage Trail was a project of Cultural Tourism DC in cooperation with the DC Office of Planning, Historic Preservation Office. It was funded by the Government of the District of Columbia's Office of the Mayor, Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development and Department of Transportation, and the U.S. National Park Service.

This searchable database is part of the African American Heritage Trail project, directed by Dr. Marya Annette McQuirter, historian, for Cultural Tourism DC. It is a companion to the African American Heritage Trail guide book, which features brief entries on 98 historic sites. This database, researched by Dr. Marya Annette McQuirter, Joan Prince, and Anne Rollins, and edited by Jane Freundel Levey, expands on those 98 sites and presents information on more than 120 additional sites.


The sites were chosen by the African American Heritage Trail Advisory Commitee:

The Honorable Anthony Williams, DC Mayor, 1999-2007
The Honorable Linda Cropp, DC Councilmember, 1990-2006
The Honorable Eleanor Holmes Norton, DC Delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives, 1991 to present

Dr. Thomas C. Battle, Director, Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, Howard University
Roxanna Deane, Change Agent, D.C. Public Library
Sandra Fitzpatrick, co-author, The Guide to Black Washington
Maria Goodwin, co-author, The Guide to Black Washington
Francine Henderson, former curator for Africana Library Development, Special Collections, Gelman Library, The George Washington University
Anthony Hood, Vice-Chair, Zoning Commission
Eugene D. Kinlow, Executive Director, Washington East Foundation
Dr. Gail S. Lowe, Historian, Research Department, The Smithsonian's Anacostia Museum and Center for African American History and Culture
Honorable Alexander M. Padro, Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner for the Shaw Area
Rohulamin Quander, Administrative Law Judge, District of Columbia
Janet Lee Ricks, Vice Chair, History Committee, Mount Zion United Methodist Church
Harry Robinson, President, Robinson Group
Ed Smith, Chair, American Studies Department, American University
Frank Smith, Founder and Director of the African American Civil War Memorial Freedom Foundation
James T. Speight, Jr., First Chair, DC Historic Preservation Review Board
Bob Stanton, Director Emeritus, National Park Service
Dreck Spurlock Wilson, Architectural Historian

Dr. Marya Annette McQuirter, Historian and Project Director
Jane Freundel Levey, Historian and Director of Publications, Cultural Tourism DC, Inc.
Kathryn S. Smith, Historian and Executive Director, Cultural Tourism DC, Inc.


The sites were chosen based on their ability to tell multiple stories of African American history and culture. Priority was given to sites that are still in existence and can be visited; represent geographic diversity; represent a "first," such as a first school or church; represent a person, event, issue, or place of local and/or national importance; and have multiple meanings/uses for African Americans. In general people who are still living are not included. In almost all cases, buildings that carry a historic name but are otherwise not significant are not included.