Sunday, February 21, 2010

Black History Month - Richmond in History

The Richmond Public Library is proud to offer a new African American Biography database through our Find it Virginia online database. This new Biography database allows you to access and search quality biographical information about notable African Americans.

To use this service, simply go to to the home page of the RPL website, click on the "Find Information" button and select the "Online Library" button that drops down. Or, you can click here to go directly to the Online Library section. The African American Biography database will be shown in the list of databases available, and you can access the database by entering your library card number.

You can search the database in a myriad of ways which include, (in addition to names), profession, gender, or birthdate. The database will then display several sources of material, including narrative biographies, magazine articles and websites. This new site is a great research tool.

This new feature from the library got me thinking about the primary sources of African American history we have available here in Richmond for free - a few are listed below, but there are many more in Richmond and the surrounding areas.

The Richmond Slave trail is a walking trail in downtown Richmond that traces the historic path of slaves who arrived in Richmond from Africa to be bought and sold. The trail begins at Manchester Docks and follows a route through the slave markets of Richmond and includes several historic landmarks, including Lumpkin's Slave Jail and First African Baptist Church.

Cost: Free
Length: 1.3 miles
Contact: (804) 646-8911 - Group tours can be arranged by calling this number. Visit the Richmond Parks and Recreation site here for further information.
Details: The trail is both child and pet friendly

Richmond, as I'm sure many of you know, is also home to Maggie L. Walker - the first African American woman to found and run a bank. She was also known for her work with the Civil Rights movement with her colleagues Booker T. Washington and Mary Church Terrell.

The Maggie L. Walker House is a National Historic Site that is located in the historic Jackson Ward neighborhood of Richmond. Visit the National Park Service website for further details on the Maggie L. Walker House and to view photos and learn more about Mrs. Walker's life and accomplishments.

Location: 600 N 2nd Street, Richmond VA (Visitor's Center)
Contact: (804) 771-2017 ext. 24
Note: The House is currently operating under Winter Hours:
Monday - Friday from 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Additionally,, the state tourism website, has done a good job of compiling various locations to honor Black History Month in Virginia. Events range from the "From Africa to Virginia" theme month at historic Jamestown to the African American Film Festival at the Virginia War Museum in Newport News.

View the entire release here, which also includes events in Charlottesville, Roanoke, and Northern Virginia.

No comments: