panel discussion


Fighting for Freedom: Black Activism in the Civil War–era Lower Shenandoah Valley

TimeFriday, August 20, 2021 from 12:00 PM–1:00 PM
PriceFree, but registration required.

Join us for a series of virtual presentations on Virginia history and culture from scholars across the state. This series offers some of the most compelling sessions that had been proposed for the 2020 Virginia Forum conference, which was cancelled due to the pandemic. The annual event brings together teachers, students, and professionals interested in Virginia history and culture to present, discuss, and reconsider the story of the commonwealth. Free and open to the general public, this collaboration with the Library of Virginia will share the online sessions with a wider audience. Events are scheduled for July 23, August 6, August 20, and September 17, 2021.

On August 20, historians Jonathan Berkey (professor of history, Concord University) and Jonathan Noyalas (director of Shenandoah University's McCormick Civil War Institute) discuss Black Activism in the Civil War–era Lower Shenandoah Valley. Through an examination of the experiences of enslaved people in the lower Shenandoah Valley during the Civil War’s first year and the “Bologna Riot” in Reconstruction-era Charles Town, West Virginia, Berkey and Noyalas will offer perspectives on the ways in which African Americans asserted themselves personally and politically in the complex environment of Virginia’s Lower Shenandoah Valley during a tumultuous decade that included civil war, emancipation, and political reconstruction.

For more information, contact Ashley Ramey at or 804.692.3001.

Register Here
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