Augusta's River Region has a unique African-American legacy. Individuals who called Augusta home and institutions that sprang up on its soil have left significant marks on American culture. Learn about the people and places that continue to resonate today at these six attractions and events. For more information on iconic African-American locations in Augusta like Paine College and Springfield Baptist Church, visit the African-American section of our website. You can also pick up a complete African-American Heritage & Visitors Guide from the Augusta Visitors Center.
1. Black History Trolley Tours
Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History organizes and hosts weekly trolley tours each Friday and is a comprehensive 2-hour experience that includes stops at more than 30 significant historic sites related to Augusta's black history. Trolley tickets also include admission into the museum.
2. James Brown Exhibit
The Augusta Museum of History is home to the first major exhibit dedicated to The Godfather of Soul, Mr. James Brown. Learn about some of his famous dance moves as you watch videos of his performances. Listen to some of his all-time hits and learn about his role in national race relations.
Completed in 1859, the plantation was once the home of James Henry Hammond, three generations of his descendants, and numerous African-American families who worked at the site as slaves and later free men and women. Redcliffe provides a setting for exploring the experiences of the enslaved, as well as the larger institution of slavery and reflects the historical experiences and impact of the white and black families who lived and worked at the site.
This monthly Voices of the Past museum theatre series at the Augusta Museum of History tells a story that explains the connection between local Tubman slaves freed in the 1830s and William V.S. Tubman, who served as Liberia, Africa's longest running President from 1944-1971.
5. Dave the Potter
Nearby Edgefield, South Carolina has a well known history of pottery making that dates back more than 200 years. One of the most intriguing aspects of the area's history is that of Dave the Potter. Dave was a famous slave, known for both the size of his pots and for decorating his vessels with his own writing and poetry, a remarkable accomplishment in an era when slaves were forbidden to read and write. Using his tremendous skill, strength, and literacy, Dave made a permanent mark in history. Craft your own Face Jug at Tire City Potters or view hand thrown pottery by Dave in the Augusta Museum of History's collection.
6. Laney Walker Walk of Fame
21 markers currently placed along Laney-Walker Boulevard feature well known local legends like Thelma "Butterfly" McQueen, an actress best known for her portrayal of "Prissy" in the film Gone with the Wind and Sidney "Beau Jack" Walker, two time lightweight boxing champion along with significant black Augustans who contributed to the advancement of African-Americans like Dr. James E. Carter, the first licensed black dentist in the city and Essie McIntyre, the first black female to be ordained in the Augusta area. The Augusta African-American Historical Committee plans to line Laney-Walker Boulevard with 50 monuments to honor significant African-American citizens.