Touring The Center

The JSAAHC offers an interdisciplinary approach to better understanding American history. Visitors can learn about the local and national African American experience through exhibition tours, films, lectures, and other public programs.

Through our Internships and Trailblazers programs, high school and undergraduate students receive a deeper understanding of local history and are prepared to engage in community problem solving.

Group Tours

Group Tours

Student Group Tours

Students visiting the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center receive a guided tour of the historic building and its exhibits Pride Overcomes Prejudice and Vinegar Hill 1963. Students can also tour the latest exhibition in our Contemporary Gallery. Student groups can further extend their understanding of local history with any one of the following activities:
  1. High Hopes Fixed Purpose: The Founding of the Jefferson School
  2. Progress and Pushback: Community Development in Charlottesville
  3. All Deliberate Speed: Integration and Massive Resistance
  4. Lasting Impressions: African American Art

1. High Hopes Fixed Purpose: The Founding of the Jefferson School

The Founding of the Jefferson School Following the Civil War, Charlottesville’s freedmen wasted no time acquiring that which had been denied to them for decades; an education. Learn about the Jefferson School’s brave founders, ambitious students, and the challenges posed by their Reconstruction Era world.

2. Progress and Pushback: Community Development in Charlottesville

Community Development in Charlottesville Segregation and black political disenfranchisement were hallmarks of the so-called Progressive Era, but so were entrepreneurship and community building. Understand how Charlottesville’s black residents established neighborhoods, grew businesses, and advanced their education, all in the face of Jim Crow.

3. All Deliberate Speed: Integration and Massive Resistance

Integration and Massive Resistance The Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown v. Board decision declared school segregation unconstitutional, setting off a statewide campaign of “Massive Resistance” that rocked Charlottesville. In this activity, students will understand the local impact of this battle as well as the living legacy of the Civil Rights Movement in Charlottesville.

4. Lasting Impressions: African American Art

African American Art Using the current exhibition in the Contemporary gallery, students receive an introduction to African American art history and their relationship to historic and contemporary events.

Adult Group Tours

The Jefferson School offers  tours of its exhibitions for groups up to 25 patrons. There is a $10 fee for each adult in the group.

To arrange a tour contact our Curator of Education at

Individuals should reserve a time to visit the center.

To schedule a student tour, fill out our application.

Booking Form

Once submitted, expect to hear from us via email. If you do not hear back from us please reach out to our Education Director at

Booking Form
  • Contact Information
  • Tour Information

Become A Community Guide

Trailblazers Program

Trailblazers is a dynamic  program that prepares young African Americans to give tours of our permanent and temporary exhibitions. As a Trailblazer, students learn the history of Charlottesville’s African American community; become well versed in national African American history, Emancipation through the present; and have a working knowledge of 20th-21st century African American art history. Through discussion, project based research, and field trips, they acquire the skills to become community educators. 

Students involved in the program are paid hourly during training. Upon completion they will also be paid hourly for guide services. 

New program begins July 8 and ends August 9, 9-1 pm. Fill out our application to apply. Application closes June 2, 2024.

Adult Community Guides

Adult guides provide tours of permanent and contemporary exhibitions to both 4-12 grade students and adults. Guides receive extensive initial training and then meet monthly for more in depth training. Trainings include meetings with experts in African American history and field trips to historic sites.

To apply to be a Community Guide, fill out our application.

What Our Visitors Say

It was a terrific trip. The students have very positive reviews and the teachers felt that it truly enhanced student learning. We could certainly come back to spend more time and focus on the history of the school and community. Thanks so much to the tour guides for making this a great experience!!

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