Welcome to our official website!

We are an alliance of historic places settled by people of African descent in the early establishment of America. 

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Group photo of mayors of historic black towns by Sue Thompson
Group photo of mayors of historic black towns by Sue Thompson
Join our growing network of historic black towns and settlements

We’re Creating a Nationwide Network of Historic Black Towns and Settlements!

More than one thousand and two hundred Black settlements, enclaves, and towns were established in the United States between the late eighteenth and early twentieth centuries. More than five hundred settlements were established with the physical elements and cultural institutions in a town format. Only fifty to sixty Black towns were legally incorporated in nineteen states between 1865 and 1915. The separate Black towns represented radical options when they were founded in the nineteenth century. They incorporated self-government and independent enterprise into streams of African American ritual and tradition. We exist to serve as an alliance of these communities and provide a platform for them to thrive as 20th century heritage sites promoting education and cultural tourism.

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Our Efforts Must be United!

Honorable Johnny Ford, HBTSA Founder
Honorable Johnny Ford, HBTSA Founder

Before the Historic Black Towns and Settlements Alliance was established, we were all scattered and didn’t know much about each other. When we finally joined forces, we all agreed that we love where we live, work, worship and play. The members of our Alliance call different places home, from the South Carolina and the Gullah Geeche lands to the west coast in sunny California. We are deeply connected to these historic places. And when you love a place, you improve it.

We’re still learning a lot about our history. We meet new people everyday and learn about forgotten places established by blacks in America. We believe in the power of pulling up our sleeves, working with our neighbors, and trying to build a place so worthy of admiration you could write a song about it. We invite you to share your story and stay in touch.

EVENTS & HAPPENINGS!

Historic Black Towns and Settlements Alliance is comprised of many people representing historic communities across America. Check out our member events and activities. 

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INDEPENDENCE HEIGHTS CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL

Each year in historic Independence Heights located in Houston, Texas, community leaders come together to celebrate the true meaning of the season with music, food and fellowship. Local entertainment is provided by the area schools and church choirs. Kids attending the event enjoy a make-shift Santa’s village with toys, candy and more.

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ZORA! FESTIVAL

Zorafest! is an annual event that celebrates the life and times of the poet and icon, Zora Neal Hurston. Zora grew up in Eatonville from the age of three. Her father founded the church that still exists today on the main street in Eatonville. Enjoy this funfilled two weeks celebration with celebrities, elected officials and more. 

QUICK LOOK AT OUR PARTNERS

The road to build a nationwide network of historic black towns and settlements is not easy. It takes many people and key partners to research. document, protect and promote these fragile places of American history. 

World Conference of Mayors
World Conference of Mayors
Moorehouse College of Medicine
Moorehouse College of Medicine
University of North Carolina
University of North Carolina

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

We’ve got a lot of things in store for all of you. New programs and services coming soon. Let’s stay connected by being a part of our mailing list. 

University of Alabama Partnership
University of Alabama Partnership
Delta State University Partnership
Delta State University Partnership
Rollins College Partnership
Rollins College Partnership