About the GAAHLP

Coal Delivery at 29th & O Street, c. 1890.
Coal Delivery at 29th & O Street, c. 1890. (Photo courtesy of Hannah Nash Williams)

Project Mission

  • To honor together the enslaved and free African Americans who worked in, lived in, and built Georgetown;
  • To celebration together their resilience, strength, and fortitude;
  • To promote together accurate African American and American history preservation;
  • To start a dialogue of reconciliation which eliminates any shame, guilt, or humiliation; and to foster a commitment to lasting changes.

The Georgetown African American Historic Landmark Project entails placing markers on Georgetown African American historic landmarks commemorating the enslaved and free African Americans’ contributions to the Georgetown community reconstructing a complete account of what their lives were like. The historic interpretations ensure that the African Americans presence is known and will be remembered. The project includes the development of a comprehensive Georgetown African American walking tour consolidating several walking tours, information garnered from the book, Black Georgetown Remembered, and individual research.  Landmarks are being considered to honour Yarrow Mamout, Alfred Pope, the contributions of Lee Feed and Grain Store and over 85 other sites.  The tour includes the servants’ contributions at the Dumbarton House and Tudor Place.  Homage will be paid to the strength and fortitude of the those surviving in servitude and those who often succumbed to the injustices and inequities.   The tour expects to direct visitors’ movement throughout Georgetown’s boundaries.


These familiar interpretive styles are utilized to fit Georgetown aesthetically:

  • A bronze, six-inch circular disk serves as the Georgetown African American Landmark’s basic marker denoting ownership or a major occurrence.
  • Black metal plaques typically placed on National Historic Registry buildings and
  • Way-side and road-side markers in grassy areas in public space will serve as interpretations of African Americans’ collective stories.


Our nation is beginning to recognize and interpret the African and African American presence.  Reflected in Georgetown waterfront designation as an UNESCO Site of Memory is the desire to place a marker interpreting the location where slave ships docked and Africans first disembarked.  The Georgetown African American Historic Landmark Project in partnership with the Middle Passage Project announced Georgetown waterfront (Washington, DC/Port of Georgetown, “North Potomac”) UNESCO Site of Memory designation along with seven other cities and one plantation:  Africatown, AL; Boston, MA, New York; Historic Sotterley Plantation, MD; Hampton/Point Comfort, VA; Charleston, SC; Pensacola, FL; and New Orleans, LA.  All fifty United States sites deserve recognition. These sites’ importance testify to the tragedy of the Middle Passage in which interpretations  now serve to honor and celebrate the strength resilience, and fortitude of those who despite all attempts to deny them their humanity they survived and many times excelled.

The complexity of reconciliation must be understood and issues addressed. The topics below represent just a few issues to start the conversations.  Each individual topic is enough.  Enough to make a change in the lives of others.  Enough to start the conversations.

  1. Why the conversations and reconciliations between the enslaved and enslavers and among African Americans is needed and why has it not been addressed in its totality moving forward.
  2. Economics versus racism. Is it economics or racism?
  3. Nurturing and bridging the divides between economic classes.
  4. How do we reconcile the enslaved status?
  5. Can people of color be truly judged by the content of their character not the color of their skin?
  6. Dispelling the myths and changing the hearts.
  7. Dispelling prejudices
  8. How do we promote no judgement and no shame?
  9. Reevaluating African American worth.
  10. What issues need to be addressed?
  11. What it will take for this country to survive, coexist, and move forward.
  12. The psychological and physical impact on America
  13. The impact on African Americans and Americans in general.
  14. What is wealth and the role it plays in reconciliation, racism and prejudices?
  15. Building wealth and self-examination.
  16. Capitalism: principle ideals versus practice
  17. Examining and building safety nets for African Americans
  18. What sacrifices are now needed from the entitled and elite?
  19. What actions and behaviors need addressing to incorporate all into the mainstream?
  20. What roles do faith based entities play?
  21. What role does one’s faith play?
  22. A commitment to promote someone other than oneself.