Info sought on African American heritage

Published 8:27 pm Monday, August 26, 2019

Members of the Suffolk community are encouraged to bring information this Wednesday to the latest session for the Suffolk African-American Heritage Trail initiative.

The session will be held Wednesday from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Whaleyville Community Center, 132 Robertson St. Participants will submit stories and photos regarding landmarks, people and events related to the history of African-Americans in Suffolk and former Nansemond County.

“We are looking for personal stories of neighborhoods, churches, schools, community centers and family connections,” Suffolk Tourism Visitor Center Supervisor Kevin Sary wrote in an email. Other categories include agriculture, cemeteries and businesses.

Email newsletter signup

The Suffolk African-American Heritage Trail initiative is a joint project between Suffolk Tourism, the Suffolk-Nansemond Historical Society and Suffolk Public Library. The trio have also been working with the Virginia Tourism Corporation on this project, Sary wrote.

The first phase of this project is to hold public sessions in order to collect historical information and heirlooms. This will be the third session the team has held, after the first two at Morgan Memorial Library and the North Suffolk Library.

Sary said they were “pleased” at the number of people who participated in the first two sessions, and the information they were able to gather for this Suffolk project.

“The goal is to create a self-guided tour through Suffolk’s African-American heritage,” he wrote, “discovering the people and places that played such a valuable role in the establishment and evolution of the community.”

No reservations are required for this public session. For questions, please contact the Suffolk Visitor Center at 514-4130 or email