African American History
Enjoy a delicious Southern-style breakfast, and get ready to explore Greensboro’s African-American history.
A note of interest: The Guilford College campus is known as the location of a Hiding Place or Underground Railroad Network, where Vestal and Levi Coffin helped escaped slaves flee to the North from 1830 until the end of the Civil War. A commemorative marker is located on West Friendly Avenue.
Head downtown to the historic district of Old Greensborough, and visit the site of the famous F.W. Woolworth Company, where on Feb. 1, 1960, four NC A&T State University students sat at the then segregated lunch counter and were refused service. The Greensboro sit-ins served as a catalyst in the civil rights movement. On the 50th anniversary of the sit-ins, the International Civil Rights Center & Museum officially opened. Guided tours are available Tuesday through Sunday. The original lunch counter and stools are featured with 14 other exhibits. The museum also features meeting and workshop space, classrooms and a gift shop.
Stroll through the Greensboro History Museum where the sit-ins are commemorated in a striking exhibit. The Greensboro Cultural Center is home to the African-American Atelier, which showcases local African-American artists.
Enjoy lunch at one of over 50 unique restaurants downtown. Stroll along South Elm Street, the Walkway of History, as sidewalk makers chronicle six chapters in local African American history, ranging from a fugitive slave on the Underground Railroad through the first African-American state Supreme Court Justice.
Visit Greensboro’s colleges, which offer a mecca of African-American history. NC A&T State University is home to the University Galleries which houses one of the largest collections of African culture between Washington, D.C. and Atlanta. World art and community ethnic groups are also showcased with tributes to astronaut Ron McNair and Rev. Jesse Jackson. Holgate Library at Bennett College for Women features paintings by Varnette Honeywood.
Top off your day with a visit to the Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum at Historic Palmer Institute, the first historic site to honor an African-American and a woman. It was formerly the Palmer Institute, a preparatory school established in 1902 by Dr. Brown. Enjoy exhibits, tours and audiovisual presentations.
Return to your hotel, and prepare for an evening of ethnic entertainment at one of the colleges in the area.