PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – A group is honoring Black History Trailblazers. For the last four years, organizers have selected a new route to celebrate Black History in Portsmouth, Virginia.
This year, Chief Apostle Joyce White-Tasby organized a sidewalk parade to celebrate the Truxtun Historic district near Portsmouth Boulevard.
“We are highlighting various things that are not in the history book because we need to write our own history. No one came tell it like we can,” said White-Tasby.
The Historical Truxtun district commemorates the first planned Black community in U.S. history, according to a city archive.
“It dates back to 1920, because of the shipyard, they needed to hire black people,” said White-Tasby.
Mt. Carmel Baptist Church was built around this time and is still a staple for the community.
“They had 43 acres of land that was a project funded by the government and they built 250 houses,” explained Purnell Hester, with Mt. Carmel Baptist Church.
The group celebrates a list of Portsmouth trailblazers including the first Black teacher, mayor, and city manager.
“If we don’t remember them who will? They have left a legacy, which is our inheritance of doctors, judges, lawyers, teachers, all the people of prominence lived in the Truxtun area,” said White-Tasby.
Residents are invited to see artifacts from that time of Mt. Carmel Baptist Church.
Check WAVY.com for the latest updates.