This walkway celebrates the contributions of African Americans to the life and development of Lynchburg. Passing through one of the earliest portions of the cemetery, it leads to the graves of many prominent Black citizens and terminates at the Pride family plot, the resting place of Armistead Pride (1787–1858), early barber, dentist, and entrepreneur, Amelia Perry Pride (1857–1932), educator and community activist, and her husband, Claiborne Gladman Pride, Sr. (1857–1933), a highly respected barber. Markers along the way call your attention to a few of the people buried here.
From its inception in 1806 until 1882, when White Rock Cemetery opened, the Old City Cemetery was the only cemetery in Lynchburg open to African Americans. It is estimated that there are over 20,000 graves in the Old City Cemetery; 13,000 belong to African Americans. Through ongoing research, the Old City Cemetery seeks to document the lives of those buried here and present that information to the public using signage, tours, publications, displays, and files in the Cemetery Center, and through its annual Candlelight Tours.
The Cemetery is managed by the Southern Memorial Association, founded in 1866, in cooperation with the City of Lynchburg, which owns the property. The Pathway to Pride project was a joint effort of these two entities. City Public Works staff constructed this brick walkway in 2020 on the road bed of a portion of old Third Street, located within the walls of the cemetery. The bricks date back to 1906 and were originally used to pave a portion of nearby Harrison Street.
Stories featured in this interpretive program are: