The Black Heritage Museum of Arlington held its Grand Opening March 17 and 18 in the second-floor space above the Suntrust Bank. Museum staff have been using the space for offices, but have reconfigured it and paved the way for exhibitions.

The Black Heritage Museum of Arlington celebrates the African American journey to freedom and provides a focal point exhibit on Arlington’s Freedman’s Village and the contributions made by its residents and their descendants to local and national history.

One resident of Freedman’s Village was James Parks, who was born a slave at Arlington House and served as a civilian in the U.S. Army. He was a custodian and grave-digger on the grounds of Arlington House from 1861 to 1929. Upon his death, he received the unprecedented honor from the Secretary of War to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

More contemporary Arlingtonians include Grammy Award winner Roberta Flack, and young actress Brittany O’Grady, currently starring on FOX’s “Star.” Columbia Pike has a rich heritage of contributions from the African American community, including the establishment of Freedman’s Village. Founded in 1863 on the grounds of the plantation owned by the Custis and Lee families, Arlington Estate, Freedman’s Village is now a part of Arlington National Cemetery.

Museum hours are currently by appointment only. Call 703-271-8700 or visit their website for more details.