In a Foreword to DHR’s 1995 book publication Virginia Landmarks of Black History, legendary scholar Armstead L. Robinson (1947-1995) notes, “Virginia does indeed encompass this nation’s longest continuous experience of Afro-American life and culture.” In that spirit and in recognition of Black History Month 2019, DHR has launched an online catalog of sites in the Commonwealth listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register (VLR) and the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) associated with African American history. The catalog will continue to grow as DHR adds new listings to both registers.
While DHR highlights people, places and events pertaining to African American history year round through the VLR and NRHP as well as through the state historical marker program, see these other noteworthy announcements for Black History Month:
African American Historic Resources Symposium:
March 19, 2019
9:00 am – 3:30 pm
Jefferson School African American Heritage Center
233 4th Street Northwest
Charlottesville, VA 22903
Preservation Virginia will be hosting this event that will bring together the Virginia Rosenwald School Network and other advocacy and history groups for an in-depth look at the state of Virginia’s historic African American resources. Expanding on Preservation Virginia’s annual Rosenwald School Network Meeting, PV is partnering with the African American Cultural Resources (AACR) Task Force, Virginia Humanities, and DHR to unite efforts under a broader, shared goal to recognize, research, preserve and advocate for historic African American resources at all levels and in all sectors. Please register soon and join us for this event. More information here.
. . . And speaking of Rosenwalds, DHR now has available a 2019 Calendar of Historic African American Schools that can be displayed on a desk, counter or shelf. Featuring one of Virginia’s extant African American schools (including Rosenwalds) each month of 2019 (and extending through March 2020), the calendar is packaged in a clear jewel case that can be folded to sit upright. Cost is $5. To order, please contact Lauren Leake in DHR’s Archives or just send a check made payable to DHR and request the calendar:
Dept. of Historic Resources
2801 Kensington Avenue
Richmond VA 23221
Please send ATTN: Lauren Leake.
SAVE the DATE: A state historical marker recalling educator and civil rights leader Dorothy Irene Height will be dedicated next month in the Blackwell Historic District in Richmond, where Height was born in 1912. The dedication ceremony on Sunday, March 24, coincides with the anniversary of Height’s birth. We hope to see you at the event and DHR will issue a press release early next month announcing the time, place, and speakers.
Here’s the marker’s text:
Dorothy Height (1912-2010)
Dorothy I. Height, civil rights leader, was born in Richmond and lived in this neighborhood until 1916. For more than 50 years she worked for racial justice and gender equality. Serving on the national staff of the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) from 1944 to 1977, Height fostered interracial dialogue and moved the YWCA toward full integration. As president of the National Council of Negro Women for 40 years, she promoted economic development and voting rights and advised United States presidents. She worked closely with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and was a chief organizer of the March on Washington in 1963. Height was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1994.
. . . And speaking of state historical markers, DHR is pleased to announce that the agency is preparing for publication later this year A Guidebook to Virginia’s African American State Historical Markers. The softcover book will include the texts and locations of more than 300 state historical markers that address topics related to Black history. The guidebook, illustrated with historical and recent photographs, will be distributed by the University of Virginia Press, and will be available for purchase after July of this year. More details will be forthcoming, please stay tuned.
Updated February 15, 2019