Did you know Fayetteville had an African-American Heritage Trail? As we reach the end of Black History Month, it’s important to continue to recognize the contributions of the Black community on the history of Fayetteville, and this might be the perfect way to do it.
The Fayetteville Area Convention and Visitor’s Bureau has a number of culturally significant trails across the area, and the African-American Heritage Trail is one of the best.
“The African-American Heritage Trail consists of sites that provide a historical glimpse into the life of African-Americans who resided in Fayetteville and Cumberland County. The hard labor bourn by slaves, the entrepreneurship of free blacks, the devotion to religion and education, service to our country, and the desire to learn and preserve valuable history await to tell the visitor a grand story.”
The Trail pays tribute to notable Blacks in Fayetteville’s history, like Henry Evans, E.E. Smith, Charles W. Chesnutt and Hiram R. Revels.
Of course a journey through Black history in the South is filled with a number of focuses on slavery and the impacts on the region. As the FACVB points out, much of our area was built on a foundation of Black contributions, largely through that early slavery.
“African-Americans arrived in this area as slaves of European settlers. The institution of slavery sustained the agrarian-based society that had quickly developed. Slave labor was also used to support another leading industry—naval stores—the harvesting of resin from pine trees to produce tar, pitch, and turpentine. When the nation recorded its first census in 1790, Cumberland County’s total population was 8,671, which included more than 2,100 blacks.”
There are 17 stops in and around Fayetteville on the African-American Heritage Trail. We take a look at those stops here, and help guide you through some of the most important contributions the Black community has had on our region.