African American photojournalist Ernest Withers at the King Memorial March in Memphis 1968 - Photo by Jack Hurley, Courtesy Univ Memphis Special Collections
Telling Untold Stories
VFH Fellows Investigate the Lives of African American Trailblazers
These three fellows—of the dozen typically in residence at VFH during an academic year—are each at work on a biography of a relatively unknown figure whose story illuminates an era.
Camille Pissarro, "Women Chatting by the Sea," 1856
Impressionism and the Black Atlantic
French Impressionist innovations in color, light and subject matter revolutionized western art. Those advances took place in an age of political upheaval—and of slave emancipation in the Americas. To a surprising extent, Impressionist-era artists were fascinated with African-American and Caribbean subjects. Join VFH Fellow Jon Sensbach as he explores the little-known influence of black freedom on […]
The Unmasking: Race & Reality in Richmond
As part of Richmond Magazine’s three-part learning series, The Unmasking: Race and Reality in Richmond, Dr. Lauranett Lee, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities board member and former curator of African-American history at the Virginia Historical Society, will participate in a panel discussion. The panel, titled The Backstory Breakdown, is the second part of the series. […]
The Story Behind Hidden Figures
VFH grant helps tell the story of NASA’s human computers.
In 2014, VFH awarded a grant to support the documentation and make accessible the stories of the women—black and white—who served as “human computers” at NASA. That story has since been turned into a major motion picture, Hidden Figures.
MLK Sunday Supper with History United
Danville by Choice and VFH’s History United are partnering to sponsor a “Sunday Supper” community conversation in honor of MLK Day and in a joint effort with Averett University’s Center for Community Engagement and Career Competitiveness. Grab a delicious Sunday afternoon beer (or wine) and join us at 2 Witches Winery & Brewing Company from […]
Detail of a mural that is part of "Threads of History: Conversations with a Community"
Film Screening: Threads of History: Conversations with a Community
Threads of History is a documentary film that captures the recollections of Booker T. Washington High School alumni.
In 1867, the U.S. government prepared to try former Confederate president Jefferson Davis for treason. The U.S. Circuit Court for the District of Virginia assembled a pool of twenty-four potential jurors—some white, some African American—of whom eleven are pictured above. These men were likely the first African Americans to be called to jury duty in Virginia. The trial, though, never went forward. Davis was released on bail on May 13, 1867, and the charges against him dropped in 1869.
Block the Vote
Encyclopedia Virginia follows African American freedom to disfranchisement
Millions of African Americans were emancipated in 1865 and given the vote. By 1901, almost all of them had lost that vote. What happened in those intervening years? VFH’s Encyclopedia Virginia explores the history of the Readjuster Party in Danville, VA and how it changed Virginia politics forever.
The First Vote: Recalibrating Reconstruction
VFH Fellow Don DeBats shares findings about the patterns of early voting ballots in the years following the American Civil War as well as his current explorations into data preserved from 1860-1900 in the poll tax books and census records of two Kentucky counties.