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We Shall Overcome: A Williamsburg Black History Experience

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Location Marker Williamsburg, VA
Clock Icon 1PM
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We Shall Overcome: A Williamsburg Black History Experience


Bringing the Past into Focus

 Did you know almost half of 17th-century Williamsburg was comprised of African-Americans? Or that Williamsburg’s first Black church was buried until archeologists discovered it in 2020?


Delve into the rich historical tapestry of Williamsburg and witness the remarkable journey of those who transcended the confines of their enslaved existence to become catalysts of change in the shaping of America. 

Through firsthand accounts and archeological discoveries, examine the tireless and often concealed contributions of these visionary African-American founders, whose indomitable spirit and unwavering dedication played a pivotal role in the construction of the nation we recognize today.

Embark on a journey that transports you to the very paths tread by both free and enslaved inhabitants of Williamsburg, where their lives intertwined, their passions ignited, their toil endured, and their aspirations soared towards a collective vision of a brighter tomorrow for humanity. 


“This tour was fascinating! It doesn’t tiptoe around the concept of slavery, and it highlights the nuances of the Black experience with real, personal stories.” 


What is the Black History Experience About?

Unearth the seldom-heard tales of escaped slaves and influential Black leaders, whose voices of hope resounded through their communities, instilling a profound sense of pride and fortitude. Journey alongside these unsung heroes, and be inspired by their extraordinary stories of resilience and enduring legacy.

Immerse yourself in the palpable embrace of hope and pride emanating from the Historic First Baptist Church, a sanctuary that has served as a pillar of strength for the Black community since 1776. Discover the inspiring journey of Gowan Pamphlet, an enslaved preacher whose spirit soared above the constraints of his circumstances, becoming a symbol of unwavering hope. 

Admire the church’s renowned bell, whose resounding chime was summoned by President Barack Obama to inaugurate the prestigious National Museum of African American History and Culture. Experience the profound significance of the church’s hallowed artifacts and the enduring legacy they represent.

*Bonus Tour Inside Church:  Only available Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. Subject to availability


What You Will See on This Tour: 

Embark on a captivating tour that unveils the pivotal Williamsburg landmarks deeply intertwined with the history of Black Americans. This unforgettable journey will enlighten you about:

Drawing upon a wealth of archeological evidence, well-documented events, and captivating historical anecdotes, our knowledgeable local guides will regale you with tales of remarkable individuals who left an indelible mark on the quest to forge a truly liberated America. These inspiring stories encompass influential figures from diverse backgrounds, transcending racial boundaries, and contributing to the collective endeavor of establishing a nation that cherishes freedom and equality for all.


Historic First Baptist Church of Williamsburg

Embark on a captivating journey through time and experience the rich tapestry of American history in the hallowed sanctuary of Williamsburg’s Historic First Baptist Church. As you explore this tangible connection to the past, you can be a part of the significant moments that unfolded within its walls as you: 

  • Stand in the very spot where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once stood, delivering a powerful sermon that echoed the call for civil rights and equality.
  • Ring the church's historic bell, whose resonant toll has reverberated through centuries of American history. As the sound echoes throughout the church, you can imagine the countless gatherings and solemn occasions that this bell has witnessed.
  • Feel the weight of the past as you walk in between the pews where free and enslaved individuals once sat, finding solace in their faith and drawing strength from the community around them. 
  • Examine historical artifacts that provide a glimpse into the daily lives, aspirations, and enduring spirit of the people who have passed through this church's doors. From relics of the colonial era to artifacts from the Civil Rights Movement, each item contributes to a comprehensive narrative that transcends time. 

A visit to the Historic First Baptist Church is a profound and enlightening experience that allows you to stand in the footsteps of visionaries, activists, and ordinary individuals who shaped the course of American history. This sacred space is a reminder of the resilience and perseverance of those who fought for justice and equality, leaving an indelible impression on the story of our nation.


Immerse yourself in the remarkable history of the Black experience in colonial America, as it illuminates the indomitable courage and unwavering spirit of the Black residents who shaped the fabric of 17th-century Williamsburg.


“We must never forget that Black history is American history. The achievements of African Americans have contributed to our nation’s greatness.”

Yvette Clarke



  • Tickets
    Entry ticket

Additional Info

Meeting point address: Kimball Theatre, 428 W Duke of Gloucester St, Williamsburg, VA 23185

Duration: Approximately 2 hours

Help Icon Parking: We recommend parking near Duke of Gloucester Street. To see options, click below.
Use parkme.com for more parking locations.

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Reviews (1968):

Anthony Drayton
Verified Customer

Review Star Review Star Review Star Review Star Review Star

July 21st 2024

"Chris was great! The tour was liked by all by all of us. Very interesting and informative from both ... "

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Anthony D.
Verified Customer

Review Star Review Star Review Star Review Star Review Star

July 21st 2024

"Chris was great! The tour was liked by all by all of us. Very interesting and informative from both ... "

>> Read Full Review

Tara R.
Verified Customer

Review Star Review Star Review Star Review Star Review Star

July 21st 2024

"The boos and booze pub crawl was canceled due to emergency. I was informed well ahead of scheduled t ... "

>> Read Full Review

Important Information


Please arrive to the designated meeting location before your tour’s start time, or they may leave without you! Your email confirmation will verify map and meeting location.

Easy E-Check in

No need to print anything out. Just show up, and the tour guide will mark you present! Please save your email confirmation handy on your phone for reference.

Daily Availability

Press “book now” to view current time and date availability.

Private Groups

Looking for a private or large group tour? Contact us for details

Walking Tour

This tour is a walking tour.

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