Virginia Museum of History & Culture announces Black History Month programs
Registration information for all upcoming programs can be found at VirginiaHistory.org/Calendar
Feb. 10, noon – The Record of Murders and Outrages: Racial Violence and the Fight over Truth at the Dawn of Reconstruction
Dr. William A. Blair, the Walter L. and Helen P. Ferree Professor Emeritus of Middle American History at Penn State University, will discuss his new book and address misconceptions that our current situation is unique in featuring partisan bubbles in which people mistrust information from the other side. Immediately after the Civil War, a toxic partisan climate caused information on racial violence to become politicized, with eyewitness and newspaper accounts dismissed by opponents as fictions created to mask a political agenda. Military officers led by Ulysses S. Grant and Oliver Otis Howard led an effort by Freedmen’s Bureau officers to document that Black Americans faced little justice for atrocities committed against them. In doing so, they leaked information to Congress that embarrassed the president, their commander, as a concern for civil rights overrode constitutional norms. The resulting Record of Murders and Outrages helped justify military occupation of the South, exposed the rise of the Klan, and shined a light on voter suppression through terrorism that otherwise may have gone unreported.
Feb. 24, 6 p.m. – “A New Era in Building”: Black Educational Activism in Goochland County, 1911-1932
In this lecture, based on their award-winning article published in the Virginia Magazine of History & Biography in 2020, Brian Daugherity, associate professor of history at Virginia Commonwealth University, and Alyce Miller, professor of history at Valencia College, will analyze community efforts to increase educational access and opportunity for African Americans in Goochland County, Virginia, in the early twentieth century, as well as the connections between this advocacy and other communities across the state and throughout the South. The story, told using various archival records and oral history interviews, demonstrates the power and agency of rural Black southern communities during the Jim Crow era. Recognizing and analyzing this advocacy helps expand our understanding of Black activism during the Jim Crow era, educational philanthropy, and southern educational history, as well as how this era of Black activism was linked to subsequent civil rights achievements.
Feb. 15, 7 p.m. – Join the Virginia Museum of History and Culture as members of their education team and special guests from the Black History Museum of Virginia “mythbust” the 2012 historical film Red Tails, Red Tails is a fictionalized account of a crew of Black fighter pilots in the Tuskegee training program. Having faced segregation while kept mostly on the ground during World War II, they are called into duty.
Special February-only discount
The VMHC is also offering a special 20 percent discount on Determined: The 400-Year Struggle for Black Equality which was released this past year. This publication builds on the museum’s groundbreaking exhibition mounted as part of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s 2019 Commemoration. The book follows the form and themes of the exhibition, and it includes a wealth of expanded content for readers. It addresses the need for a greater understanding of systemic racism in America through a concise and accessible survey of Black history in Virginia, from the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in 1619 to the groundswell of racial justice protests in 2020.
Highlighting key individuals and events, this lavishly illustrated story showcases the profound impact that the fight for Black equality has had on our nation and its democratic ideals. Determined: The 400-Year Struggle for Black Equality is available for purchase from the museum’s store at ShopVirginiaHistory.org.
Discount is valid Feb. 1-28.