Sunday, January 31, 2010

Black History Month - Exhibits and Lectures

February is Black History Month, and we have a wealth of exhibits, lectures and events in our fair city of Richmond. We are surrounded by this history daily, but February is an ideal time to take in several new exhibits in Richmond and the surrounding area.

This will be the first in a series of posts related to Black History month, as there are many events in the local area. We'll focus first on new museum exhibits and lectures in or around Richmond, and add posts regarding library materials, activities, and more as the month goes on. If you have suggestions for further posts, be sure to leave your suggestion in the comments!

Richmond Public Library

Hull Street Branch: Pathways to Change
Thursday, February 11th
2:30 pm

Presentations featuring Edward Hudson, former Negro League Baseball Player and Harry H. Bradley, Historian and Community Activist.

Main Branch: Kusun Ensemble
Thursday, February 11th
10 am

The Kusun Ensemble is an extraordinary group of musicians and dancers based in Ghana, West Africa. Come join us and bring the children to this exciting event showcasing Ghana's most powerful music and dance ensemble fusing innovative rhythms with jazz and traditional Ghanaian instruments. Don't miss this electrifying performance sponsored by the Historic Jackson Ward Association and the Virginia Commission for the Arts.

The Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia Exhibit
Take Our Stand: the African American Military Experience in the Age of Jim Crow
February 5 - May 29, 2010

The Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia will have a new exhibit produced in partnership with the American Civil War Center. The exhibit chronicles the black military experience from the Spanish-American War through the desegregation of the U.S. military and features rare historic images, lesson plans for students, and feedback panels where visitors can record their impressions of the exhibit.

The exhibit opens this Friday, February 5th from 6 - 8:30 p.m. with a keynote address from Dr. Kimberly L. Phillips, Associate Professor of History and American Studies at the College of William and Mary. You can also RSVP on to the opening event on their Facebook page here.

Virginia Historical Society Exhibit
The Portent: John Brown's Raid in American Memory
October 10, 2009 - April 11, 2010

From the Historical Society's website regarding the exhibit:

"As a major part of the national acknowledgement of the 150th anniversary of John Brown's raid on the Federal Armory at Harpers Ferry, Virginia, the Virginia Historical Society presents The Portent: John Brown's Raid in American Memory. This exhibition is the first-ever critical analysis by a southern institution of an episode that, on the eve of the Civil War, broke open sectionalist fissures. Brown demanded that his contemporaries take a moral stance on slavery, and to this day a mention of his attack spurs debate about issues of justice, terrorism, liberation, and vigilantism. The story of Brown's early life, his fervent religious beliefs, his turn to violence as an abolitionist in Kansas, and his Virginia raid and its aftermath will be told in the exhibition. Contemporary reactions to the raid and to the trial and execution of John Brown will also be discussed, and visitors will see a display of objects and books related to John Brown's raid."

The Historical Society leads gallery walks through its exhibits - and the next upcoming walk is lead by Lauranett Lee, Curator of African American History on Wednesday, February 10 at 12pm.

Listen to the lecture regarding the exhibit by curator William M.S. Rasmussen online here.
You can read a review of the exhibit by the New York Times here.

Virginia Union University

Sit-In | Stand Out
A Project Recognizing the 50th Anniversary
Of the Thalhimers Lunch Counter Sit-In

February 17-22, 2010

Virgina Union University has many events scheduled for this week-long commemorative event recognizing their student's important role in the Civil Rights movement in Richmond. View their calendar of events for this week here.

Monday, February 22nd marks the culmination of this celebration and includes events such as an Education Forum moderated by Sheila Johnson with representatives of “Richmond 34”, students from partner schools and the Thalhimer family Richmond CenterStage Carpenter Theatre as well as a Commemoration of Historic Marker at Richmond CenterStage.

Learn more about the "Richmond 34" here.

Image: Virginia Union University students wait to be served at the Woolworth's department tore lunch counter in downtown Richmond, February 20, 1960.
Courtesy of The Valentine Richmond History Center.

VCU Libraries Black History Month Lecture - Fifty years after the student-led sit-ins: where are we now?
Tuesday, February 9th 7:30 - 9pm Singleton Performing Arts Center
Free and open to the public
(all ages)

A panel discussion exploring the legacy of student protests, including the state of Black America and race relations 50 years after the sit-ins.

View more about the event, including the panelists and moderator, here on the VCU Libraries website.

University of Richmond
Black History Month Events

The University of Richmond have several upcoming discussions and lectures this month on their website here. For more information, call (804) 289-8032

Events include:

Feb. 4, 7 p.m., Weinstein Hall, Brown-Alley Room, “How the Sit-ins Changed America: A 50th Anniversary Retrospective,” Andy Lewis, former Richmond faculty member and author of “Shadows of Youth – The Remarkable Journey of the Civil Rights Generations.”

Feb. 19, 12:30 p.m., Weinstein Hall, Brown-Alley Room, Brown Bag discussion, “The Mortgage Crisis, Communities of Color and the Ways Forward,” with a panel of community leaders.

Feb. 21, 2 p.m., Tyler Haynes Commons, Alice Haynes Room, “Fact or Fiction: The Active Involvement of Blacks in the Civil War,” with Harold Jones, curator of the Black Civil War Museum in Washington, D.C.

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