African-American Diversity Guide
After the Civil War, Jackson Ward, a predominantly African-American neighborhood in Richmond, flourished into a vibrant community. It even earned nicknames such as the "Harlem of the South" and "America's Black Wall Street." Jackson Ward was also home to famous African-Americans such as Maggie L. Walker
and Bill "Bojangles" Robinson. Learn more about African-American history in the Richmond Region at the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia
or the Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site.
For a one-of-a-kind experience, take a guided tour of the Richmond Slave Trail
, which chronicles Richmond's role as the largest exporter of enslaved Africans on the East Coast in pre-Civil War America.
The Richmond Region offers a variety of festivals and events each year to celebrate African-American heritage. Summer brings the opportunity to enjoy the Fridays at Sunset concert series and the Down Home Family Reunion, an annual festival celebrating African-American folk life. Each fall, Jackson Ward's 2nd Street travels back in time for the Second Street Festival, a celebration of the area's historic significance to the African-American community. And finally, celebrate the holiday season with the Capital City Kwanzaa Festival. Many of these events are planned by the Elegba Folklore Society
, a nonprofit organization that offers cultural arts programming and educational opportunities to promote a deeper understanding of the rich diversity of African-American traditions.
Maggie L. Walker
Born in Richmond, VA, Walker was the first African-American female bank president and the first woman to charter a bank in the United States. To learn about her compelling story, visit the Maggie L. Walker National Historical Site
Bill "Bojangles" Robinson
Born in Richmond, VA, "Bojangles" was an American tap dancer and actor of stage and film. He is best known today for his dancing with Shirley Temple in a series of films during the 1930s. A commemorative statue can be found in Jackson Ward at the intersection of Adams and West Leigh Streets.
Arthur Ashe was a professional tennis player and Richmond native. He won three Grand Slam titles during his career, making him one of the best American tennis players of all time. A monument of Arthur Ashe can be found on Richmond's historic Monument Avenue.