On Saturday, June 26, BPAC organized a group ride to visit places associated with Alexandria’s extraordinary Black history. We gathered near the King Street metro station and then did a 13-mile loop around the City, stopping at nine sites along the way. Riders of all ages and experience are welcome on BPAC’s rides, and the participants on this ride ranged in age from retirees to a young child riding in a cargo bike with his dad.
During the ride, we honored the sacrifices of Black soldiers in the Civil War who successfully petitioned for the same privileges and rights of burial as White soldiers. We stopped by the Freedom House Museum, where one of the country’s largest slave-trading companies used to be, and talked about the City’s plans to expand the museum. We visited the newly installed statue of Earl Lloyd, who rose from humble beginnings in Alexandria to become the first Black player in the NBA. We discussed the important work being done by the Alexandria Community Remembrance Project to honor the memory of Alexandria’s two lynching victims, Joseph McCoy and Benjamin Thomas. We also talked about how Virginia Theological Seminary is striving to find and provide reparations to descendants of Black Americans forced to work at the Seminary during the slavery and Jim Crow eras.
If you would like to do a self-guided version of the Alexandria Black history ride, a guide to the route and stops is available here.
Below are some photos from the ride. Photo credits: Casey Kane, Josephine Liu, and Yvonne Thayer.
A huge thank you to all the people who helped spread the word about the event, provided input on the route and ride guide, and kept people safe during the ride.