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African American Heritage Guide

Black history lives and breathes in Durham. There’s no separating the contributions of Black Durhamites from the broader story of Durham – from the newly freed enslaved people who left Stagville Plantation and settled in what would become our city’s earliest neighborhoods, through the people and businesses that built Black Wall Street and the Hayti community to North Carolina Central University, the fight for civil rights, and the thriving arts and entrepreneurship community of today.

This guide invites you to explore our history and community. Get curious about how the past has shaped the present. Experience the culture, people and businesses that make Black Durham the vibrant place it is today.

This guide is a collaboration built by writers, poets, artists and storytellers in Durham's Black community, led by poet, educator, community organizer and artist Dasan Ahanu. The printed guide is an important keepsake and handy introduction to Black Durham; our About the Guide page introduces you to those contributors and shares more of the guide's stories in their words. We invite you to explore.

Meet the Contributors

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Download a digital PDF version of the African American Heritage Guide directly to your personal device.


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Request a copy of the African American Heritage Guide, and we'll mail it to you free of charge.

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Visit the Sites Mentioned in the Guide