Join the Library of Virginia and Virginia Humanities to celebrate Black History Month and the completion of a signature project to document the lives and achievements of Virginia’s first Black legislators. Editors of the Library’s Dictionary of Virginia Biography joined this project in 2011 in collaboration with the commonwealth’s Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Commission to research and write the definitive life histories of the 92 African American men who served in the General Assembly from 1869 to 1890. Their stories are now part of the collective digital story of our state thanks to the collaboration with Encyclopedia Virginia, a rich online resource published by Virginia Humanities.

Panelists for the program, moderated by Virginia Humanities executive director Matthew Gibson, will include the Honorable Viola Baskerville, one of the founders of the project; University of Richmond adjunct professor Lauranett Lee; Ajena Rogers, supervisory park ranger at the National Park Service’s Maggie L. Walker Historic Site and a descendant of Black legislator James A. Fields; and historian and author Brent Tarter, a retired editor with the Library of Virginia.

For more information, contact Elizabeth Klaczynski at 804.692.3536 or elizabeth.klaczynski@lva.virginia.gov. This event is free but registration is required.

Courtesy Library of Virginia
Vanessa Adkins, right, is apprenticing under her cousin Jessica Canaday Stewart learning the finer points of traditional Chickahominy dancing. Photos taken at the Fall Festival and Pow Wow in Charles City on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012.

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