This tour will begin and end at the Embassy Suites by Hilton

9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
All Roads Lead to Freedom, Hampton’s African American Heritage Sites
($125/per person)

post conference tour

The history and legacy of African Americans run deep in the city of Hampton, Virginia. Education and opportunity are key to this story. Start your day with a stop where America’s African American History began. The tour will begin at Point Comfort, where a vessel carrying “20 and odd” Africans arrived in August 1619. This site is located on the former Fort Monroe Army Base which is now a part of the National Park Service. This site is also where on May 23, 1861, Major General Benjamin F. Butler accepted three runaways seeking their freedom, declaring they were “contraband of war.” News of this sanctuary soon spread earning Fort Monroe the nickname “Freedom’s Fortress.” An interpreter will discuss the importance of the 1619 Landing and Freedom’s Fortress.

Depart Fort Monroe and travel back to the historic campus of Hampton University where you will receive a guided tour of special buildings and landmarks including the Emancipation Oak, the Booker T. Washington Sculpture, John Biggers’ murals, Tree House and House of the Turtle that are located in the William R. and Norma B. Harvey Library, as well as Charles White’s Contribution of the Negro to Democracy, the 1943 mural located in Clarke Hall, the first YWCA for African Americans in the city of Hampton. We will complete the stop at Hampton University with a guided tour of the Hampton University Museum collections.

Additional African American sites will be stops for the tour including the gravesite of Mary Peake, who was an African American woman who taught school to enslaved African Americans under the Emancipation Oak. Additionally, we will stop at Buckroe Beach which was also the site of Bay Shore (the African American Beach and Resort). Following our break, we will proceed to Aberdeen Gardens Community and Historic Museum, built by blacks for blacks, as part of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal Settlement where long-time Aberdeen resident and griot, Margaret Wilson will share; The Tucker Cemetery –the gravesite of two of the original Africans to come to Virginia, Anthony and Isabell will be interpreted by Tucker Family descendants. The tour will end at the Hampton History Museum that will serve to bring all of the history of Hampton’s residents together and to showcase the story of the Hidden Figures.

End the day of exploring the city of Hampton’s African American heritage with a tour of the Hampton Roads harbor and Chesapeake Bay, featuring Hampton’s seafaring culture, local fishing boats, mighty commercial cargo ships, Blackbeard’s Point, Old Point Comfort, Fort Wool and the awesome gray fleet at the world’s largest naval installation, Norfolk Naval Base. While riding the waves, enjoy a Steamer Pot! What’s a Steamer Pot? Enjoy medium male blue crabs, steamed shrimp, clams, red potatoes, corn on the cob and andouille sausage with seasoning and garlic butter on the side.