Art & Culture

African American Heritage Trail

Several buildings are nestled among trees and plank fences on a warm, sunny day.

African American Heritage Trail

Did you know the first Black person to get a college degree in the U.S. did so in Vermont? Or that you can visit a meticulously restored Pullman car and delve into the lives of Black train porters during the late 1800s and early 1900s? The Vermont African American Heritage Trail explores the stories of Black Vermonters at museums and cultural sites which feature exhibits, films, tours, and personal explorations.

History Surrounds You

Roadside Markers

Vermont’s Black history is found throughout the state, illuminated on roadside markers detailing important places and significant moments in history, and introducing you to the Black people who contributed to Vermont’s economy, history, and stories. Learn about Martin Henry Freeman, America’s first Black college president, a congressman from Vermont who filibustered the “gag rule,” banning discussion of slavery in the U.S. Congress, and more.

Vermont’s Constitution was the first in the nation to ban most forms of slavery, and in 2022, Vermont voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment making that language more explicit.

A historic building with purple flowers on a warm sunny day.

Rokeby Museum

Ferrisburgh’s Rokeby Museum is a stop along the African American Heritage Trail, exploring Vermont’s history on the Underground Railroad as enslaved people found their way to freedom.

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Get the Brochure

A guide to Vermont’s African American Heritage Trail helps you navigate the trail across the state, whether you visit each stop or incorporate these significant sites into a larger visit.

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