COVID-19 Pandemic

Wash your hands. Keep six feet apart. Wear masks. Check the CDC. Repeat.


3 more public meetings: Virginia Emancipation and Freedom Monument

The Virginians on the Monument Work Group of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, Memorial Commission is seeking the public's opinion on the list of finalists’ names for inclusion on the Virginia Emancipation and Freedom Monument to be constructed in Richmond. The Work Group will hold its second public meeting on July 31 from 6 PM to 8 PM in the Parker-Gray Gallery of the Alexandria Black History Museum on 902 Wythe Street Alexandria, Va 22314.

Meeting Date: July 31, 2017
Meeting Time: 6:00 PM
Location: 902 Wythe Street Alexandria, Va 22314

Images and brief biographical information engraved on the base of the Monument will honor four African-American Virginians who contributed to emancipation before the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1865 and four who contributed to the struggle for freedom after 1865. (Click here to see proposed model of the base.) The finalists were drawn from more than 90 nominations submitted by the public during the nominating process held from September 1, 2016 through March 31, 2017.

The following nominees are confirmed as pre-Emancipation finalists: Mary Elizabeth Bowser, Henry Brown, Anthony Burns, William Harvey Carney, John Dabney, Gabriel, James Lafayette, Dred Scott, and Nat Turner.

The following nominees are confirmed as post-Emancipation finalists: Dr. Virgie M. Binford, James Wesley Douglas Bland, John Andrew Bowler, Rosa L. Dixon Bowser, Lucy Goode Brooks, Evelyn Thomas Butts, Peter Jacob Carter, Jennie Serepta Dean, James Farmer, Rev. Dr. Curtis West Harris, Andrew I. Heidelberg, Dorothy Irene Height, Rev. John Jasper, Charles Spurgeon Johnson, John Mercer Langston, Mildred Loving, John Mitchell, Jr., Lucy F. Simms, Gregory Hayes Swanson, Rev. Wyatt Tee Walker, and Dr. James Edward Maceo West.

Three additional public meetings will be held around the state as follows:
  1. Wednesday, August 16, Piedmont Virginia Community College, Main Bldg., Room 158, Charlottesville
  2. Thursday, August 17, Nursing and General Education Building, Norfolk State University, Norfolk
  3. Monday, August 21, Danville Community College, Danville 
For biographical information on finalists and updates on the monument’s progress, visit

For inquiries, please contact Senate Committee Operations at 804-698-7450

Link to Study:


A Busy Summer!

June 28 - Shockoe Bottom Stakeholder Meeting and Update. Special guest: Max Page, Center for Design Engagement, presented a slide show of the Memorial Park design updates (courtesy CDE student Nicholas Jeffway) based on feedback received since the June 2016 design charrette presentation at the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia. We'll post a report soon with the feedback from those present including about the next steps now that the process returns to local hands. In the meantime the PDF of his presentation is here.


June 14-17 - Carolina Low Country & Atlantic World Conference "Transforming Public History from Charleston to the Atlantic World" College of Charleston, Charleston, South Carolina, USA
After participating in a session with Preservation Virginia and the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, I was very pleased to meet the two very groovy people in this photo while attending this conference: Dr. Lonnie Bunch (public historian and director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture), and the first director of the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture. Other very interesting presentations included the National Memorial to Cotton Pickers and the Gullah-Geechie Nation mapping project.

More poignant was the session with members of the Mother Emanuel AME Church, describing the impact on the church and community in the aftermath of the murders of nine of their members. In his speech at the church on Thursday, the 15th, Dr. Bunch addressed the responsibilities of public historians in the context of the 2nd anniversary of Dylan Roof's horrific attack, including a deep commitment to community collaboration and being unafraid of the complexities of our histories.


June 16-18 - United National Antiwar Coalition 2017 Conference "Stop the Wars at Home & Abroad!", Greater Richmond Convention Center, Richmond, Virginia, USA - A Juneteenth Action was held on Sunday June 18th, from 2:30 to 3:30 pm. More than 100 participants marched to Richmond’s Shockoe Bottom (map), once the epicenter of the U.S. domestic slave trade, to visit the African Burial Ground and help these national visitors understand the significance of the site and its history, and to expand support for the Community Proposal for a Shockoe Bottom Memorial Park.


Connecting the Projects

Changing the Public History Landscape of Richmond, Virginia

Community Proposal for a Shockoe Bottom Memorial Park
Initiated in 2015, updates to design and program ideas have taken place in the Summer of 2016 and 2017. Gabriel's Rebellion, Richmond African Burial Ground,

- City contractor SmithGroupJJR is working through the Statement of Purpose, and has so far held 2 Community Engagement meetings, March 7 and July 12.

- Family Representative Council Recommendations are waiting to be finalized and presented to VCU President Michael Rao; next step is to form the Implementation Committee that will make the recommendations happen. 

- Friends of East End Cemetery 

Monument Avenue Commission - see our open letter to the commission.
- Commission Work Group Meetings: July 31 - August 2
- Public Meetings at Virginia Historical Society, Aug. 9 and Sep. 13.

Richmond300 - Master Planning Process
- In preparation for the city's 300th anniversary, 1737-2037.


SmithGroupJJR to host 2nd Community Engagement Meeting

Plan to attend the July 12 community engagement meeting for Devil's Half Acre/Lumpkin's Jail archaeology site. We've created a Facebook Event Page - please accept the invite and share the page.

This is from the site: 
(RSVP to them as well.)

Second Community Engagement Meeting
JULY 12, 2017

The Lumpkin’s Slave Jail Site/Devil’s Half Acre Project is underway. Please join us for the SECOND community engagement meeting.

5:30-8:00 PM
The Bon Secours Washington Football Team Training Center
Second Floor
2401 West Leigh Street
Richmond, Virginia 23220