African American History in Norfolk

celebrating history & Heritage

From historic churches and theaters to gospel cruises and cultural events, there’s no place like Norfolk to celebrate African American heritage. In fact, African Americans have played a key role in the development of this historic seaport since its establishment in the 1600s.

African American Owned Businesses

The city of Norfolk would not be the creative, diverse and vibrant community that it is without the endless contributions made by our African American residents and business owners.
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Waterways to Freedom – A Self-Guided Tour

Waterways to Freedom honors Norfolk’s proud participation in the Underground Railroad. In the early 19th Century, tens of thousands of African American slaves escaped from the South to freedom in the northern United States and Canada.
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Norfolk Celebrates Black History Month

Norfolk’s melting pot culture is what has shaped the city to what it is today and the influence from the African American community has played a key role in the transformation.
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Attractions and Sites

Almost everywhere you turn, the richness of the African American experience in Norfolk is alive and well just waiting for you to explore it through an exciting array of attractions, events, shopping, dining and exhibits.

Blue Ridge Excursions

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City Cruises by Hornblower

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Freemason Street Baptist Church

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First Calvary Baptist Church

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First Baptist Church

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Festivals of Festevents

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Cultural Events

Every season is event season in Norfolk. See what’s on deck.

Norfolk Waterfront Jazz Festival

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Bayou Bon Vivant

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Virginia CaribFest

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