More than half of 18th-century Williamsburg residents were African American. Almost all were enslaved. Join us during Black History Month as we explore the stories of those who lived, loved, and strove to create a better future for themselves and the next generation.
Visit our CALENDAR for a full list of Black History Month programs and events.
Witness a compelling moment in the life of an 18th century person. Then join the discussion as the actor interpreter shares how they brought the character to life.Learn More
Meet Elizabeth, a free black woman, and her enslaved friends, Agnes and Lydia, as they prepare for a gathering. Discover how these women manage love, work, beauty, friendship...and, of course, hair!Learn More
As you are guided through the opulent home of Peyton and Elizabeth Randolph, a heart-wrenching narrative unfolds exploring the complicated relationships between gentry women and their enslaved maidservants.
After making a free life for herself as an adopted Shawnee Indian, Methotaskee is brought back into slavery. Her compelling story unfolds as her mistress prepares her to reenter Williamsburg society as Elizabeth.
Ann Ashby, a freed black woman, is visited by her nephew, John Ashby Jr. who is also free. He wonders how best to care for his family after his father’s death. What are the personal and political complications for a free black man considering enlisting in the Continental Army?
Join us on an uplifting journey from the 18th century to today through Black Music. From enslavement, reconstruction, Jim Crow, the Civil Rights Era, and the present, music has been an important means of survival during the Black Experience in America. Who knows what types of music you will hear during your time with us!
The Royal Governor of Virginia wielded great influence over the colony, and to ensure success in the New World they often called upon free and enslaved African-Americans for help - both at the Palace and on missions throughout the colony of Virginia. Hear these important stories and learn about the contributions of free and enslaved African-Americans during your visit to the Palace.
Gather with members of the enslaved community to experience a music-filled message of hope. A spirit-led celebration of songs and stories illuminate the struggles and triumphs of African Americans in 18th-century Williamsburg.
Explore the stories and art made by African Americans, Native Americans, women and other individuals considered minorities.
Over a game of chess Thomas Jefferson and his manservant, Jupiter, challenge and amuse each other. Are all men created equal? In this depiction of a private moment in the life of a very public figure, chess becomes a metaphor for the power dynamics present in the master/slave relationship.