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Virginia Department of Historic Resources

Gov. Northam’s 2020 Black History Month Historical Marker Contest

Photo of Barbara Rose Johns
Barbara Rose Johns

Governor Ralph Northam’s inaugural Black History Month Historical Marker Contest encouraged schools during the month of February (2020) to feature a different marker each day from A Guidebook to Virginia’s African American Historical Markers, which DHR published in late 2019. The Governor’s office provided teachers with resources to guide history discussions, promoted Black History Month events around the Commonwealth, and initiated the competition for students to submit ideas for new historical markers to DHR.

The Governor’s Office received 285 entries from students across the Commonwealth. A team of historians at DHR reviewed them and selected ten entries based on the Historical Highway Marker criteria. The Virginia Board of Historic Resources approved the first group of winning markers at its public quarterly meeting in June. DHR expects the remaining five winners from the contest to be manufactured and erected in 2021. This handout features the texts of ten the new markers.

Updated November 18, 2020