African-American Heritage Trail
Start your morning with a hot breakfast at Spiro's Family Restaurant, located just south of downtown High Point. You'll be greeted with a warm smile and good down-home cooking.
There's no better way to walk off breakfast than a tour through downtown High Point and the Washington Street District. First stop is the February 11th Sit-In Monument, commemorating the first organized high school sit -in. Ten days after Greensboro's Sit-In, 26 high school students marched from Washington Street to Woolworth's and sat at the lunch counter, standing up for equal rights. The monument sits on Wrenn Street, directly behind the Red Lion Hotel. Walking distance from the monument and nestled among unique architecture is the 8 ft, bronze statue of great jazz musician and composer, John Coltrane. Spend some time listening to samples of his music using the interactive kiosk. Next, drive through the Washington Street District which includes his high school, William Penn, formerly known as High Point Normal and Industrial Institute, a local Quaker founded institute for educating young African-Americans. It was there he learned to play the saxophone and found his musical talent. His home, where he lived with his parents, grandparents and cousin, sits on Underhill Street, just past the school. The piano that used to be in the house is on display at High Point Museum.
... at one of the area's best Soul Food Restaurants, Becky's and Mary's, a cinder-block building on Washington Street. and recognized in Our State Magazine. The food is out of this world and offers everything from fried chicken and meatloaf to macaroni and cheese, green beans and cornbread. If you're lucky, they may even have their famous collards and chitlins when you're there.
Even though you might want to take a nap after lunch, a visit to High Point Museum will open your eyes to the history of John Coltrane who is remembered with a special exhibit, featuring his childhood piano and various memorabilia including music sheets with handwritten notes. Other early local African American entrepreneurs include Willis Hinton, restaurant and hotel owner and Albert Miller, brickyard operator.
Just a few miles down the street, in Jamestown, is Mendenhall Homeplace, an early 19th Century Quaker Homestead listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is home to one of only two remaining false-bottom wagons used to transport slaves to freedom.
Located in the heart of downtown Greensboro, the International Civil Rights Center & Museum is devoted to the international struggle for civil and human rights. The Museum celebrates the nonviolent protests of the 1960 Greensboro sit-ins that served as a catalyst in the civil rights movement.
Jamestown, nestled between High Point and Greensboro, has quite a few dinner options on East Main Street. You will not be disappointed with any of the local flavors. SidWill's offers soul style cooking, while Full Moon Oyster Bar provides a great night life atmosphere and seafood options. If you're not ready to call it a night, The Deck, across the street from Southern Roots, hosts bands on the weekends and is a great place to unwind after a long day.
Charlotte Hawkins Brown Memorial - North Carolina's first official historic site honoring an African American woman. This site is the location of the Palmer Institute, a black preparatory school established by Brown in 1902.
Mattye Reed African Heritage Museum - Located at NC A&T University, housing one of the best collections of African artifacts in the country.