Winston-Salem’s present-day African American community is inspired by our city’s ongoing interpretations and reflections of the past.
Old Salem Museums & Gardens
Founded by Moravians in 1766, Salem was once home to freed and enslaved Africans and African Americans.
- Groundbreaking research initiative, The Hidden Town Project, explores the lives of Salem’s enslaved and freed communities of African descent.
- Visit St. Philips African Moravian Church, North Carolina’s oldest standing African American church, where the ending of slavery was announced in 1865.
- Discover the reconstructed 1823 African Moravian Log Church which was built with white oak logs raised by the African Americans of Salem.
- Walk through “Negro God’s Acre,” the African American graveyard in Salem and learn about traditional African burial practices.
- View works by skilled African American craftsmen in the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts.
- Experience a special seed saving program celebrating African American heritage with seeds from plants native to Africa featured in the Homowo Harvest Seed Collection.
Winston-Salem State University
This notable university was the first black institution in the U.S. to grant degrees in elementary education.
- Diggs Gallery is the 6,500 square foot home to world-class collections by artists such as John Biggers, Mel Edwards, Beverly Buchanan, and Tyrone Mitchell. As one of the top ten African American galleries in the nation, Diggs offers exhibitions dedicated to African arts and African Diaspora.
- The magnificent John Biggers Murals hang in the O’Kelly Library. Origins and Ascension were commissioned specifically for the university and presented by Delta Fine Arts Center.
Downtown Arts District
A walkable haven for galleries and shops filled with handcrafted items representing an array of cultures.
- Groups can enjoy time on their own in the District, which is home to Umoja African Crafts and Body and Soul Cultural Boutique, featuring African-made clothing, jewelry, and crafts. Among the many eateries and coffee shops, you’ll find Sweet Potatoes (well shut my mouth!!), an African American-owned restaurant specializing in “unique, southern-inspired uptown, down-home cooking.” Next door, savor a beloved heritage recipe for Southern fried chicken at Miss Ora’s Kitchen.
Referred to as “the strangest house in the world,” a tour of this eccentric Victorian 22-room home also includes learning about Aunt Dealy, born a slave in 1820 and then saved from the market by Mr. Phillip Kerner. See Aunt Dealy’s final resting place in the family graveyard behind the Kernersville Moravian Church.
International Civil Rights Center & Museum
Just 30 minutes away in neighboring Greensboro, your group tour of our area should include a visit to the International Civil Rights Center & Museum.
- This must-see Center is the site of the original Woolworth’s lunch counter where on February 1, 1960, four brave students sat down in nonviolent protest and requested to be served. A portion of that infamous lunch counter, along with the original stools, is on permanent display. The International Civil Rights Center & Museum is an attraction that will inspire your group as they experience a moment in time that changed the nation.
The National Black Theatre Festival®
The National Black Theatre Festival® (NBTF) is recognized as one of the most culturally significant events in the history of black theatre and American theatre in general. More than 60,000 attendees flock to the six-day biennial Festival held every other summer featuring more than 100 performances of professional Black theatre companies from across the country, the Caribbean, and Africa presented at multiple venues throughout Winston-Salem.