The Fairfax County African American History Inventory (AAHI) database project is a collaborative effort between the Fairfax County History Commission and the Center for Mason Legacies (CML), and led by Alpha Team 4 of the Fall/Spring 2021-22 GMU IT Capstone project.
The goal of the AAHI is to capture, communicate, and preserve the African American experience throughout Fairfax County’s history. An inventory of African American residents’ contributions, churches, homes, schools, communities, events, etc. has been collected to document the African American culture and history of the county. The collection of general resources and research topics has been prepared for all ages, residents, students and historians in order to increase interest and knowledge about Fairfax County’s diverse population. The list is not all-inclusive, and some resources may contain outdated or inaccurate information. The list is a living document; additional inventory items may be added in the future. Visitors are encouraged to contact Mary Lipsey, the AAHI coordinator, with additional information of any site or resource.
The Inventory includes the following:
Physical sites - buildings, archaeological sites, cemeteries, street names, communities
Collections - printed materials such as books, brochures, correspondences, photographs, maps, etc.
Digital resources – websites, YouTube videos, story maps, etc.
Church and School histories
Historical Roadside Markers
Places to visit
In October 2020, a motion was made by Commissioner Naef, seconded by Commissioner McCullough, that the Fairfax County History Commission approve, as a major initiative in 2021, the development of a research inventory by magisterial district, identifying publications, documents, records and such miscellaneous materials that provide access into the histories of African American communities throughout historical Fairfax County.
A committee was formed in January 2021 led by commissioners Phyllis Walker-Ford and Mary Lipsey. In an effort to collect, communicate, and preserve African American culture and history, commissioners researched and collected historical information from each district. In November of 2021, representatives from the Center for Mason Legacies (CML) agreed to host the project as part of a joint effort between the History Commission and CML.