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Appomattox in Appomattox County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

African American Banjoists

 
 
African American Banjoists Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Ann Roos, April 20, 2021
1. African American Banjoists Marker
Inscription.  West Africans developed the forerunners of the modern banjo. Free and enslaved Africans in the Americas later made similar stringed instruments, typically of animal hides, gourds, wood, and gut or horsehair. Black musicians who lived near here, whose identities are now unknown, taught the banjo to Joel Walker Sweeney (ca. 1810-1860), a local white musician who brought international fame to the banjo and himself. The banjo, in modified form, became a mainstay of American popular culture by the end of the 19th century. By drawing on their musical traditions, this region's African American banjoists shaped the diverse world of American music.
 
Erected 2018 by Virginia Department of Historic Resources. (Marker Number M-37.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansArts, Letters, MusicEntertainment. In addition, it is included in the Virginia Department of Historic Resources series list.
 
Location. 37° 22.958′ N, 78° 47.366′ W. Marker
African American Banjoists Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Gregory Roos
2. African American Banjoists Marker
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is in Appomattox, Virginia, in Appomattox County. Marker is on Old Courthouse Road (Virginia Route 24) 0.2 miles south of Joel Sweeney Lane (Virginia Route 710), on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Appomattox VA 24522, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Popularizer of the Banjo (here, next to this marker); After the Surrender (within shouting distance of this marker); Surrender of the Artillery (within shouting distance of this marker); Artillery Park (within shouting distance of this marker); Appomattox River (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Appomattox River (within shouting distance of this marker); Lee's Apple Tree (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Grant and Lee Meeting (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Appomattox.
 
Also see . . .  Appomattox Court House National Historical Park. National Park Service (Submitted on April 30, 2021.) 
 
African American Banjoists Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mike Wintermantel, April 10, 2022
3. African American Banjoists Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 11, 2022. It was originally submitted on April 29, 2021, by Gregory Roos of Cincinnati, Ohio. This page has been viewed 89 times since then and 31 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on April 29, 2021, by Gregory Roos of Cincinnati, Ohio.   3. submitted on April 11, 2022, by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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Oct. 1, 2022