During Black History Month and amid a flurry of fanfare, the City of Fredericksburg in partnership with the University of Mary Washington unveiled its civil rights trail: “Freedom, a Work in Progress.”
The nearly three-mile walking trail, with some stops a close drive, guides participants through post-Civil War history into the modern day, drawing together the stories – one never-before-heard testimony after another – of the Fredericksburg-area people and places that helped shape the civil rights narrative.
“I can’t even begin to describe to you what a fantastic day this is for the City of Fredericksburg and the University of Mary Washington, and more importantly for our Black community,” said Chris Williams, assistant director of UMW’s James Farmer Multicultural Center. He and Victoria Matthews, tourism stadium and sales manager for the City of Fredericksburg, spearheaded the project.
Featuring Virginia historical markers – one at the first stop on the 1961 Freedom Rides journey that challenged segregation of interstate travel – the trail’s 21 stops pull together a saga of persecution and peril, power and promise. They chronicle court rulings and protests from the Jim Crow era to the Black Lives Matter movement, stopping at churches, cemeteries, markers and monuments throughout the city, across the UMW campus and beyond. Read more.