[search options]

May 2018

Facing Freedom: An African American Community in Virginia from Reconstruction to Jim Crow

Tuesday, May 01, 2018
Time: Noon–1:00 PM
Place: Conference Rooms, Free

Join author and historian Daniel Thorp as he discusses his book Facing Freedom, which relates the complex experience of an African American community in southern Appalachia as it negotiated a radically new world in the four decades following the Civil War. Drawing on extensive research in private collections as well as local, state, and federal records, Thorp narrates the experiences of black Appalachians as they struggled to establish autonomous families, improve their economic standing, operate black schools within a white-controlled school system, form independent black churches, and exercise expanded—if contested—roles as citizens and members of the body politic. A book signing follows the talk.

Image of a calendar  Add this event to your calendar

Uncovering a Slave Narrative

Thursday, May 03, 2018
Time: Noon–1:00 PM
Place: Conference Rooms, Free

Join author Kristen Green, a fellow with the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, for a talk about her research project on Mary Lumpkin, who was purchased as a child by the notorious Virginia slave trader Robert Lumpkin. Green is the author of Something Must Be Done About Prince Edward County, which won both the Literary Award for Nonfiction and People's Choice Award for Nonfiction from the Library in 2016. At 13, Mary Lumpkin had the first of five children with Robert Lumpkin, all of whom lived for a time in his slave jail. Green, a longtime newspaper reporter, will share her journey to learn more about Mary Lumpkin and her descendants' journey out of slavery by tapping into the Library of Virginia's vast resources.

Race and the Right to Vote: Contextualizing African American Suffrage in Virginia

Thursday, May 17, 2018
Time: 6:00 PM–8:00 PM
Place: Conference Rooms, Free

This roundtable discussion features Dr. Corinne Field (University of Virginia), Dr. Julian Maxwell Hayter (University of Richmond), Senator Jennifer McClellan (9th Senate District of Virginia), and Dr. Nicole Myers Turner (Virginia Commonwealth University). The election of delegates to the Constitutional Convention of 1867–1868 would mark the first time that African American men voted in Virginia. They also ran for seats, and 24 African American men were elected as delegates to the convention. Working with their white counterparts, they shaped and approved a new constitution in 1868 giving African American men the right to vote and hold public office. Now, 150 years later, we look back on the legacy of that constitution with a panel of historians, lawmakers, and activists to reflect on the promise and politics of African American suffrage then and now.

African American Research at the Library of Virginia: Genealogy to 1870

Friday, May 18, 2018
Time: 9:30 AM–12:30 PM
Place: Conference Rooms, $15 ($10 for Semper Virginia Society members)

Preregistration required: https://africanamericangenealogy2018.eventbrite.com
Explore the methods and resources for African American genealogy prior to the end of the Civil War. Library of Virginia reference archivist Cara Griggs presents ways to determine whether an individual was enslaved or free and what types of records will be useful for further research. Learn about the Library's collections including cohabitation registers, free Negro registers, lists, wills, deeds, and tax records as well as selected federal records that can be accessed through databases. For more information, contact catherine.wyatt@lva.virginia.gov or 804.692.3999.

Saturday, May 26, 2018—Monday, May 28, 2018

Closed for Memorial Day holiday

True Sons of Freedom

Tuesday, January 16, 2018—Friday, November 09, 2018
Place: Exhibition Gallery & Lobby, Free

True Sons of Freedom, a photographic exhibition at the Library of Virginia, explores the stories of Virginia's African American soldiers who served during World War I. More than just mementos for families and sweethearts, these portraits challenge the crude and demoralizing cultural products of an era that often reduced African Americans to stereotypes and denied them full participation as citizens of the United States. Reflecting the pride and determination of African American World War I servicemen, the images were submitted with the soldiers' responses to military service questionnaires created by the Virginia War History Commission as part of an effort to capture the scope of Virginians' participation in the Great War. The original photographs, reproduced in the gallery at nearly life-size dimensions, place visitors at eye level in front of the soldiers. The monumental scale allows viewers the opportunity to examine rich details not seen in the original photo postcards.

For more information, go to www.virginiamemory.com/truesons.