Founded in the late 1860s by formerly enslaved people, Oberlin Village was the largest Reconstruction-era Black settlement in Wake County and quickly became a thriving residential, commercial, and academic district for Raleigh's Black residents. By the mid-to-late 20th century Oberlin Village began to lose its identity; rezoning allowed commercial development to perforate the area, racist housing policies pushed Black residents out, and the construction of Wade Avenue through the village eroded the community, leaving only a few historical markers to commemorate what was once a bustling scene of Black life and enterprise. The area is now dominated by Cameron Village—named after the family who enslaved many of Oberlin's founders.
This run will be a self-guided tour of Oberlin Village beginning at the Wilson Temple United Methodist Church and stopping at several points for a total distance of 3.1 miles. Upon registration you will receive an email listing tour stops and turn-by-turn directions, with information about each stop. Although we are calling this a "run," we encourage you to stop and read about each site.
Sign up is free, but we hope you will consider a donation to Friends of Oberlin Village, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving Oberlin Village and educating Raleigh residents about the area's legacy. Make a donation here.