HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — The 400 Years Forward driving tour through Hampton is a great way to celebrate the city’s rich African American heritage during Black History Month.
The tour begins at the Hampton History Museum with exhibits including the first African arrival in 1619 and the Hidden Figures exhibit showcasing the city’s involvement with the U.S. space program.
After taking a trip through 400 years of history, travel to Fort Monroe, the largest stone fort in the United States.
At Fort Monroe, begin your journey at the first Africans in Virginia historical marker — where the first Africans in English North America landed at Old Point Comfort.
Next on your driving tour is the Emancipation Oak at Hampton University where the first Southern reading of the Emancipation Proclamation happened in 1863 under the oak tree.
After the Emancipation Oak, drive to Little England Chapel to visit Virginia’s only known African American missionary chapel.
From there, head to the Tucker Family Cemetery, one of the oldest Black cemeteries in Hampton and the resting place for generations of the William Tucker Family.
Finally, conclude your driving tour with a visit to Aberdeen Gardens. This historic neighborhood was built for “Blacks by Blacks” in 1935 as part of the New Deal Settlement.
“During, after, or before your driving tour, we invite you to visit Black-owned restaurants in Hampton. These restaurants offer culinary delights including fresh seafood, Southern cuisine, and something for your sweet tooth,” city officials posted to the website.
Click here for a list of Black-owned restaurants in Hampton.
Download the PDF guide to African American heritage sites in Hampton here.