Programs & Projects

Explore iconic spaces; let North Carolina’s landscape move you; or encounter a powerful story. Our unique programs and innovative projects will help you discover the richness of North Carolina’s African American history, art and culture!


Long term or recurring programs that help you explore the African American experience in North Carolina

Freedom Roads

Freedom Roads is a statewide trail system designed to:

  • Recognize the roads, rivers and ports in North Carolina that were crucial to the efforts of enslaved African Americans seeking freedom.
  • Recognize those freedom seekers whose stories testify to the indomitable spirit found in thousands who strove to be free.
  • Recognize those groups and individuals who supported and assisted the efforts of freedom seekers.
  • Highlight the story of freedom seeking via other avenues of liberation created during the Civil War.

Freedom Roads Sites include designations in the National Park Service’s Network to Freedom (NTF) Underground Railroad program as well as other sites and routes recognized by historians and/or archaeologists as significant to African American freedom seeking.

Explore the program page.

NC Civil Rights Trail

For generations, people in North Carolina have used spaces and spaces to organize, strategize and protest to advance the civil rights of people of color, especially African Americans. In honor of this work, we will join communities across the state to physically mark sites critical to the Civil Rights Movement in North Carolina. Between 2021 and 2023, we will place 50 markers in counties across the state, highlighting and acknowledging tireless civil rights efforts that are well known and, in some cases, unsung. Ten of these markers will be placed in Hometown Strong counties (Anson, Burke, Caswell, Edgecombe, Graham, Halifax, Lenoir, Madison, Pasquotank, Robeson, Swain).

This work is supported by the William G. Pomeroy Foundation, and presented by the NC African American Heritage Commission in partnership with the NC Office of Archives & History and Visit NC

Explore the program page.

Africa to Carolina

The North Carolina African American Heritage Commission (AAHC) is pleased to announce the launch of its most recent initiative: “Africa to Carolina.”

This initiative serves to identify, acknowledge and mark sites in North Carolina where enslaved Africans disembarked directly from the African Continent. The AAHC chose to initiate this initiative after receiving a charge to do so from staff at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, in alignment with similar efforts that are taking place across the nation. 

Initiative page.


Temporary, unique experiences that will enable you to explore rich stories, develop unique skills, or engage directly with the AAHC. 

Green Books’ “Oasis Spaces”: African American Travel in NC, 1936-1966

Did you know that over 300 businesses in North Carolina were listed in the Negro Motorist Green Book? In fact, there were 327. 

For the duration of this project, project staff will research each of these sites before developing an interactive web portal that will allow visitors to explore each site in depth through historical vignettes, stories and images. A traveling exhibition and a series of public programs will be produced to highlight the experiences of African American travelers during the Jim Crow Era in North Carolina, too.  

This project is funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Connect to the project. 

A Tale of Two Ships

Have you heard of LaConcorde

The project aims to develop a plan for continuing collections research and interpretation of the story and histories associated with French slave ship LaConcorde. Funding will allow for the creation of this plan through a variety of methodologies, including archival and artifact research; focus groups; and public programs.

This project is funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Learn more.