Northern Virginia is filled with Black History. In addition to a trip to Washington D.C's iconic monuments and museums, get outside the city to learn and celebrate Black History Month in Prince William County. 

African American History Trail

PWC's unique and extensive African American history is shared through many of our historic sites and communities. Prince William County has many different layers to its history, and many individuals have shaped the County’s complex past. Their contributions have made Prince William County the diverse and inclusive community we enjoy today. The Prince William County African American History Trail will explore stories about some of the early African American pioneers and sites in County history and their lasting impact on modern Prince William County.

We invite you to explore the history, arts, culture and contributions of African Americans along Prince William County's African American History Trail.

Prince William County African American Heritage Map

Dine At A Black-Owned Restaurant 

From traditional dishes all the way to some of the best BBQ you'll ever eat, PWC's Black community does not play around when it comes to food. You can taste the love in every bite! 

  • Blue Southern BBQ is a Woodbridge-based catering company that proudly serves the Washington DC metro area. Executive Chef “Big Dave” Galloway works to show customers that barbecue is more than just food; it’s a way to bring family and friends together. Southern BBQ has several different package options to meet your event needs, and they are willing to create a custom package just for you. With a variety of smoked meats and sides, there’s something for everyone to try. Blue Southern BBQ just opened a new location at Epiq Food Hall for guests to enjoy the same popular dishes without having to have them catered.
  • Jirani Coffee House has served Prince William County in Manassas since 2015 and is a popular spot for locals. Jirani is the Swahili word for “neighbor” and is a value of the coffee shop that focuses on community and culture around the world. Jirani is a home for all people and provides guests with ethically sourced coffee, tea, breakfast foods, sandwiches, and more. The shop also offers events throughout the month and a full schedule can be found on their website.
  • Kay’s Citrine Soul Food is a popular Dumfries food truck serving classic soul food dishes such as fried catfish, fried shrimp, and chicken wings. They have plenty of tasty sides and desserts to complete your meal including macaroni and cheese, candied yams, banana pudding, and a selection of individually packaged cakes. Kay’s provides customers with good-sized portions at an affordable price, and the food truck can typically be found parked in the Dumfries Commuter lot. Visit their website for more information on where you can find them.

More Places

Pay Respect at the Dumfries African American Cemetery

This cemetery was established in the 19th century for the local African American community. In 2009, archaeology was conducted to delineate the cemetery, locating fieldstones (potential burial markers) and grave shafts indicating burials. Prince William County Public Schools gave the Prince William County NAACP entry rights to the cemetery for purpose of restoring, landscaping, and maintaining the cemetery.

Dumfries African American Cemetery
In June 2018, members of the community established the non-profit organization "Friends of the Dumfries Slave Cemetery". The cemetery is located behind the Dumfries Elementary School and adjacent to the Dumfries Public Cemetery. Nearby the Weems-Botts Museum interprets the diverse history of the Town of Dumfries.

Attend an Event for Black History

Black History Month can be celebrated in the comfort of your own home or at an event. Sharing this history with others is a time to grow and learn. Here are a few that we recommend this month! 

  • "In Our Image" Art Exhibit by Dr. Yemonja Smalls - Each work serves as a portal into realms where the ethereal meets the tangible, challenging viewers to contemplate the sublime nature of creation and our spiritual essence. Inspired by a Bible scripture that states that humans were created in God’s image, Smalls mindfully sought to “create” some.
    • Exhibit dates: February 2 – March 16, 2024
    • 9419 Battle St, Manassas, VA

    • Free & open to the public

  • Lucasville School Open House - Reconstruction in the wake of the Civil War brought with it new opportunities for African Americans in Prince William County. Four years before they had been barred from learning to read and write by Virginia state law, though that did not stop them from learning on their own or others teaching them despite the severe punishments possible

    • Feb 10 - 11, 2024

    • Historic 10516 Godwin Dr, Manassas, VA

    • Free Admission

  • Family Day: Black History Month - Join us at the National Museum of the Marine Corps as we celebrate Black History Month with a special tribute to the Montford Point Marines. Participants will enjoy an interactive lecture, in-person activities, and more!

    • Feb 10, 2024

    • National Museum of the Marine Corps, 1775 Semper Fidelis Highway, Triangle, VA

    • Free & open to the public
  • Tastes of Home: African American Culture and American Cuisine - Many Southern dishes have their roots in west and central African culture that enslaved workers brought to America. Participants will be able to prepare and taste African and Southern dishes in the historic slave quarter at Ben Lomond.

    • Feb 17, 2024

    • 10321 Sudley Manor Dr, Manassas, VA

    • Advanced registration is required.

  • Prince William County African American History & Culture Bus Tour - Join local historians on a daylong tour exploring the unique and powerful stories behind the African American history of Prince William County. We will travel the county, exploring the 1800s all the way through the 1960s, stopping at many special, sometimes forgotten, sites to learn about the lifestyle, challenges, and the power of education in the African American community. Sites will include Prince William Forest Park, Brentsville Courthouse, and much more!

    • Feb 24, 2024

    • Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre, 12239 Bristow Rd, Bristow, VA 20136

    • Advanced registration is required.

      • Admission is $70 per person and includes lunch.

  • Black History Celebration - As we highlight African Americans and the Arts. Distinguished Speakers, Cultural performances, soulful poetry, and an inspiring presentations by a local artist. Let’s celebrate the rich tapestry of African American history and artistic expression. Share the joy, share the culture.

    • Feb 24, 2024

    • Little Union Baptist Church 17150 Batestown Road Dumfries VA 22025

    • Free Admission 

African American Family at National Marine Corps Museum exhibit

Shop at a Black-Owned Small Business

  • Black Will Travel is a Woman-Owned and Black-Owned travel company that aims to create memorable experiences abroad by educating travelers about the contributions of people of color. By focusing on the legacy of African American culture and history, the company offers vacations in the United States as well as to international destinations. Based out of Prince William County, Black Will Travel is ready to book your next vacation today.
  • Diamonds & Pearls is a welcoming bridal shop offering private bridal appointments with a personal consultant to guide you through their selection of wedding dresses. The selection includes dresses from six different designers with every style imaginable. The business also offers gown preservation, alterations, and custom bouquets created by a team of floral artists. Take the hassle out of wedding dress shopping and book an appointment with Diamonds & Pearls today.

  • Five14 is a premier event venue and art gallery in the Dumfries area that provides guests with a fun and safe space to relax and socialize. They host plenty of affordable events throughout the month including open mic nights, yoga, art shows, soap making, and more. Their most popular event is the 2.5-hour guided paint class accompanied by appetizers, desserts, snacks, and a drink selection. Five14 also offers event space for private parties for up to 150 people and can accommodate a wide range of events.

  • Debbie Church began selling cupcakes in Northern Virginia when she found herself out of work in 2012. Since then she has founded Delicate Creations which has been featured on Food Network’s cake wars. Her delectable cakes have become very popular, and the business has a pickup location in Woodbridge and a second location in Atlanta, Georgia. Delicate Creations is a custom cake business, and Debbie is able to cater to any type of themed party or event. She has an extensive gallery on her website with some of her extraordinary creations for inspiration.

  • The Honee Pot is a boutique spa, located in Woodbridge, that offers visitors a variety of individualized skin and beauty services. They provide a high level of attention to detail and personalized services to each visitor. The Honee Pot is committed to helping you look and feel your best whether that’s with a facial, hair removal, body treatment, or permanent cosmetic service. Their popular dermaplaning facials are designed to leave you with a confidence boost and a warm “honee glow” that leaves clients coming back for more.

Make sure to keep up to date with all things Prince William County to stay up to date on any Black History Month events and celebrations. There is plenty to do to celebrate, all you have to do is some visit.