Historians Joanne Freeman and Nathan Connolly Join BackStory
BackStory with the American History Guys, produced by Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, is pleased to announce that Joanne Freeman of Yale University and Nathan Connolly of Johns Hopkins University will join BackStory in 2017.
Natasha Trethewey on Native Guard
Former U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey won the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for her 2006 collection Native Guard, where she confronts the complex racial legacy of her native South. Tretheway was born in Gulfport, Mississippi, the daughter of a mixed-race marriage, which was illegal in the Mississippi of that era. Her mother was an African […]
Image courtesy Richmond Times Dispatch
The Legacy of Kepone
Uncovering the history of one of Virginia’s first public environmental disasters.
Gregory Wilson, professor of history at the University of Akron, is researching the history of the Kepone disaster that took place in Hopewell, VA in the 1970s. Wilson recently sat down to talk with us about what he’s learned during his fellowship at VFH.
Fishing Tales, a , limited edition letterpress book in English, Latin and Cherokee - Courtesy of Frank Brannon
The Lost Art of Cherokee Letterpress
In 2009, VFH fellow and book artist Frank Brannon, began work with the Oconaluftee Institute for Cultural Arts in Cherokee, Norther Carolina, to revitalize the nearly lost art of Cherokee letter press printing. Now, he talks about his with the Cherokee community, as well as history of the Cherokee written language itself.
Embers of War
Sometimes when you read about the past, the course of history seems inevitable. Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Fredrik Logevall cautions, “We have to remember that to the decision-makers of the past, the future was merely a set of possibilities.” In other words—there are always choices. Logevall’s works trace the roots of the Vietnam War, uncovering the […]
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.
Spread from VABC Atlas of Vanishing Knowledge
Local, but Prized Elsewhere
VABC Projects Celebrate a Love of Books
In a small shopping center in Charlottesville, artists work at the Virginia Arts of the Book Center (VABC) to produce books and other creative projects that will one day make their way into collections across the globe.