Since 2020, an African American Heritage Trail has been included in the City’s Goals, Initiatives, and Outcomes (GIOs), a document that outlines the two-year workplan for the City.
In January 2023, the federal government passed legislation that includes $357,000 for Phase 1 of the City’s African American Heritage Trail. Phase 1 includes the construction of the trailhead at Lafayette Street, a public restroom, and the first segment of the trail from Lafayette Street to Scotland Street.
In the current GIOs for 2023-24, the City’s goal is to convene members of the Descendant community and other City residents to advise on the content for the African American Heritage Trail; begin construction of Phase 1; and obtain funding for the remaining phases.
The City of Williamsburg gathered community input on the content of the planned African American Heritage Trail through two sessions, one in-person and one virtual, in early March 2023. During these sessions, City staff asked attendees to identify stories and sites the Williamsburg community would like to highlight on the trail, which aims to tell the full story of the City’s racial history.
Since the March meetings, the City has convened an African American Heritage Trail Advisory Committee to review potential site and content for the project. A Request for Quotes seeking an experienced research contractor to develop the trail's narrative and site details posted on Oct. 27, 2023. The bid closes on Nov. 30, 2023.
The trail will follow the path outlined in the map on this page, though the potential sites along the trail have not been finalized.
The City continues to gather suggestions for stories to be told along the trail through the online form below.