14 April, 2021

A civil rights road trip through the heart of Virginia

Day One: Appomattox & Lynchburg

In Appomattox, Virginia, visit the Carver Price Legacy Museum. The museum documents the history of Carver-Price High School, the high school for black students during segregation. In 1959, Prince Edward County closed its entire school system instead of integrating students and the schools remained closed until 1964. During this time, black students from Prince Edward County sought education in other counties, and enrollment with Carver-Price rose to a surplus of 50 students per class. In 1964 eleven classrooms along with an auditorium and a new library were added to Carver-Price High School. Tours can be arranged by filling in the online form.

Three minutes from the Carver Price Legacy Museum is Historic Camp Winonah, home of Mozella Price. Mozella Jordan Price was instrumental in improving the education and quality of life for black residents. She opened her home as a mid-school when the local primary school burned down and she was a foster parent to many children. Visitors can visit her home, learn about her legacy and the history of Camp Winonah, and view original camp artifacts.

After the museum, drive approximately 18 miles to Barb & # 39; s Dream Hut and try the burger or one of their signature breakfasts. Barb & # 39; s is located in the Lynchburg Community Market, where owner Barb has served breakfast and lunch options for over 34 years.

Save room for a lemon donut with Mrs. Joy's Absolutely Fabulous Treats.

After dinner, take some time to stroll around Lynchburg in the historic Pierce Street district. This is a small two-block stretch that stands out most to the people who once lived there, rather than the actual buildings.

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<p>Stop at the Anne Spencer House & Garden Museum to learn about Edward, the first black parcel postman in Lynchburg, and his wife Anne, a civil rights activist. </p>
<p>1422 Pierce St is the site that was the launch pad for the first great black tennis champion. Here, Dr. Robert Walter Johnson for more than two decades black players from his personal courts. These players included Arthur Ashe and Althea Gibson. In 2002 the property was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Walk or drive along the terrain to check out Dr. Johnson.</p>
<h2><strong>Day Two: Danville</strong></h2>
<p>Stop at the today <strong>Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History</strong>, a former Confederate president's headquarters that was turned into a library. Student protests from the 1960s took place in the museum. </p>
<p><img loading=Photo Credit: David Hungate

Then head to Soul Food Express and grab a fish plate. There are actually 3 locations in Danville; the original is located at 258 Nor-Dan Dr, Danville, VA 24540. Their servings are huge!

Now is the time to burn some calories! Drive to the Danville Riverwalk Trail. Walk or bike this 9 mile trail that runs along the Dan River.

Time for a reward at Mas Cakes via Wendell Scott Drive. Wendell Scott was the first Black Nascar driver born here in Danville. Wendell started driving at the Dixie Circuit because he was not allowed to race in Nascar. He was later inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Owned by Mary and Charles Walker, Mas Cakes is a legend in the area. Grab a slice of cake or a whole cake. Check their Facebook page for hours and updates.


Another reward can be a large pint of craft beer. There are always many options on tap at Ballad Brewing.

Day three: Petersburg

Today you will spend the day just south of Richmond in Petersburg. The area around Petersburg is filled with rich black American experiences and heritage ranging from the early settlers to civil rights. In the early 1800s, Petersburg had the largest population of free black citizens in the south. These freed black Americans helped the enslaved blacks in the area escape via the Underground Railroad.

First, drive past or take a walk and stop at the building that stands on the corner of Fillmore and Harrison Streets. This is the site of the first public high school for black students in Virginia and one of the oldest in the South.

Interested in seeing the oldest black church in North America? "First Baptist is the oldest church in North America," said Julian Greene, Jr., historian of the First Baptist Church. "Before there was a declaration of independence, before there was a US Constitution, before there was a continental army, there was a First Baptist." Visit the First Baptist Church and hear Julian Greene's stories by calling the church directly.

Visit Virginia State University (VSU). It was the first four-year fully state-sponsored institution of higher education for black Americans. VSU is the parent institution of Norfolk State University. With a student population of approximately 4,000, the university has beautiful landscapes overlooking the Appomattox River.

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<p>At 11am Croaker & # 39; s Spot is open daily. Mr. Croaker wanted to create his own place to get the best soul food in the Petersburg area. Try the Hot Buttered Soul Wedges and a group of fried oysters.</p>
<p>After dinner, visit the Pocahontas Island Black History Museum, once a stop on the underground railroad.  </p>
<p>Visit Virginia Motorsports Park, about 10 miles from the museum. It's a 500-acre facility that hosts drag racing, motocross, tractor pulls and a new ATV family park.</p>
<p>Return to Petersburg for dinner of Charlotte & # 39; s Chicken and Waffles. </p>
<p>For more information on civil rights in Virginia, here's a hiking brochure. </p>
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