During this time of increased awareness of inequity among Americans, many are looking for ways to educate themselves and support the African American community. The Jefferson School African American Heritage Center tells the story of the African American experience in Charlottesville and Albemarle County. Located in the Jefferson School City Center, the Heritage Center’s mission is to honor and preserve the rich heritage and legacy of the African-American community of Charlottesville-Albemarle, Virginia and to promote a greater appreciation for, and understanding of, the contributions of African Americans and peoples of the Diaspora locally, nationally and globally. The exhibits tell the local story of the African American experience from slavery to the Jim Crow era to the Civil Rights Movement to today. These exhibits are organized as the Freedom Generation, the Migration Generation, the Community School Generation, the Civil Rights/Massive Resistance Generation and the Desegregation Generation. Additionally, there are exhibits honoring the former Vinegar Hill neighborhood that the Jefferson School served and Mr. John Henry James, a local man cruelly executed by a mob in 1898. The Heritage Center also has a coffee bar and museum shop where you can purchase locally produced goods and art, including “Pride Overcomes Prejudice: A History of Charlottesville’s African American School” edited by Andrea N. Douglas, MBA, PhD and Executive Director of the Jefferson School. Tours of the Heritage Center and of downtown Charlottesville have been available in the past and likely will be again. Explore the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center on Facebook and visit when you’re ready.

Jefferson School Heritage Center Location