African American Guide to Virginia
Hampton Roads Travel News ( Press Release )
Richmond, Virginia. 2002: The Virginia Tourism Corporation, in cooperation with the Virginia
Foundation for the Humanities, has produced the first-ever guide to African American attractions
in the Commonwealth, "The Heritage and Culture of African Americans in Virginia: A Guide
the Sites." More than 100 sites are included in the 36 four-color pages.
"We know that a guide of this type is needed to help the Commonwealth attract additional
African-American visitors," said Gayle Morgan Vail, president and chief executive officer of the
Virginia Tourism Corporation. "Understanding the richness of Virginia's African-American
heritage is important in the effort to stimulate visitation. This guide helps us to tell that heritage
in a way that should be useful to travelers."
The guide features "A Brief History of African Americans in Virginia," written by Dr.
Edgar Toppin, professor of history at Virginia State University. In addition, a copy of African
American events across the Commonwealth will be included with each guide.
"Our work with the VTC in general, this publication in particular, is a response to the
extraordinary need to tell the full story of Virginia for the people of Virginia and the nation," said
Robert Vaughan, III, president, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, based in Charlottesville.
Seventy-five thousand copies have been printed. Individuals may obtain a free copy by dialing 1-
Last year, the Virginia Tourism Corporation implemented the state's first African American
Heritage Cooperative Marketing Program, dedicated to African American heritage marketing and
promotion. The program has assisted 39 organizations with funds for the marketing and
promotion of African American heritage sites, programs and events.
Virginia ranks sixth in African American visitation among the 50 states, based on actual number
of visitors and seventh by percentage of African American visitors.
Contact for Media Only. Martha Steger, APR
Public Relations Director
Virginia Tourism Corporation