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Fredericksburg Civil Rights Trail joins prestigious U.S. collection

Fredericksburg and the University of Mary Washington jointly announced on Thursday, Feb. 8, a significant milestone: the inclusion of the Fredericksburg Civil Rights Trail into the esteemed U.S. Civil Rights Trail, joining a collection of landmarks spanning 15 states.

Named “Freedom, A Work in Progress,” the Fredericksburg Civil Rights Trail stands out as the sole addition this year that comprises a series of interconnected stops, totaling 21 locations that enrich the national narrative of the Civil Rights Movement.

At a gathering hosted at the historic Shiloh Baptist Church (Old Site), the inaugural point of the three-mile trail through downtown and the UMW campus, community members, including many who attended the trail’s launch a year ago, commemorated the announcement. Notable figures such as the Rev. B.H. Hester and the Rev. Lawrence Davies, prominent Black leaders and former pastors of the church, were recognized for their pivotal roles in the fight for civil rights and social justice.

Mayor Kerry Devine initiated the event by unveiling Fredericksburg’s newfound inclusion on the prestigious national trail, surprising attendees who had gathered by invitation for what was described as a “monumental announcement.”

Addressing the packed sanctuary, Rita McClenny, President and CEO of the Virginia Tourism Corporation, emphasized the significance of these landmarks, underscoring their dual role in local and Virginia history. McClenny highlighted the importance of preserving and understanding shared history, stating, “When you walk up and down these streets where presidents have walked, where the enslaved have walked, where soldiers have walked … if we all can preserve and appreciate and understand that what we have in common is so much greater than what divides us.”

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  • Uriah Kiser

    I'm the Founder and Publisher of Potomac Local News. Raised in Woodbridge, I'm now raising my family in Northern Virginia and care deeply about our community. If you're not getting our FREE email newsletter, you are missing out. Subscribe Now!

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