July 2012

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Closed for Independence Day

Book Talk at the Library of Virginia - Help Me to Find My People: The African American Search for Family Lost in Slavery

Book Talk at the Library of Virginia - Help Me to Find My People: The African American Search for Family Lost in Slavery
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Time: 6:00 PM–8:00 PM, Free parking accessible by 8th and 9th streets.

The pain and hope in the search for lost kin

Immediately following the Civil War, African Americans placed "information wanted" advertisements in newspapers, searching for missing family members. Heather Andrea Williams was inspired by the power of these ads and uses slave narratives, letters, interviews, public records, and diaries to guide readers back to the devastating moments of family separation during slavery. Williams explores the heartbreaking stories of separation and the long, usually unsuccessful journeys toward reunification. Williams follows those who were separated, chronicles their searches, and documents the rare experience of reunion. She also explores the sympathy, indifference, hostility, and empathy expressed by whites about sundered black families. Williams shows how searches for family members in the post–Civil War era continue to reverberate in African American culture in the ongoing search for family history and connection across generations.

Heather Andrea Williams is associate professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and author of Self-Taught: African American Education in Slavery and Freedom.

A book signing will follow the talk.

"Books on Broad" Featuring Selden Richardson
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Time: 5:30 PM–7:30 PM
Place: Library of Virginia Orientation Room

The Tri-State Gang in Richmond: Murder and Robbery in the Great Depression

During 1930s Prohibition, a group of criminals called the Tri-State Gang emerged from Philadelphia and spread their operations south, through Baltimore to Richmond, wreaking bloody havoc and brutally eliminating those who knew too much about their heists. Join historian Selden Richardson as he recounts the story of this whirlwind of crime and how it finally reached its climax in Richmond. Light refreshments (wine and cheese) will be served (5:30–6:15 pm), followed by author talk (6:15–7:15 pm), and book signing (7:15–7:30 pm).

Image of a book Order the book now through the Virginia Shop

Almost Free: A Story About Race and Family in Antebellum Virginia

Almost Free: A Story About Race and Family in Antebellum Virginia
Thursday, July 19, 2012
Time: Noon–1:00 PM
Place: Lecture Hall, Free

Eva Sheppard Wolf, associate professor of history at San Francisco University, uses the story of Samuel Johnson, a free black man from Virginia attempting to free his family, to add detail and depth to our understanding of the lives of free blacks in the South. After ten years of elaborate dealings and negotiations, Johnson earned manumission in August 1812. He stayed in Fauquier County and managed to buy his enslaved family, but the law of the time required that they leave Virginia if Johnson freed them. Johnson opted to stay. Because slaves' marriages had no legal standing, Johnson was not legally married to his enslaved wife, and in the event of his death his family would be sold to new owners. Johnson's story dramatically illustrates the many harsh realities and cruel ironies faced by blacks in a society hostile to their freedom. Wolf recently appeared on NBC's Who Do You Think You Are? with actor Blair Underwood in scenes filmed at the Library of Virginia. A book signing will follow the talk.

Lost & Found
Monday, February 27, 2012—Saturday, August 25, 2012
Place: Lobby and Exhibition Hall, Free

What do you collect and value? Lost and Found examines the constantly changing fabric of our world. Things disappear from our cultural landscape, sometimes almost without notice—signs, buildings, even towns—and others go into attics, basements, and landfills. Some are saved and carefully stored and preserved; others intentionally destroyed, sometimes dramatically. Explore the spectacular destruction of archives by chance and nature, the intentional destruction of personal papers, the careful preservation of family treasures, and the assemblage of materials in a bank safe deposit.

The Forgotten War: The War of 1812
Monday, November 07, 2011—Saturday, September 15, 2012
Time: 9:00 AM–5:00 PM
Place: Lobby

The Forgotten War: The War of 1812 highlights a forthcoming digital archive of materials in the collections of the Library of Virginia that relate to the War of 1812. Selections from the archive will address Virginia's role, including the impressment of American citizens as one cause of the war, the British blockade of the Chesapeake Bay, and military engagements at Craney Island and Washington, D.C.

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