- Race and Racism Observed In UR Sororities
- Global Citizens: How to Integrate a Curriculum
- Dining Discrimination at the University of Richmond
- Lost Cause Ideology, Found at the University of Richmond
- Students of Color in the Messenger
- Westhampton College Traditions
- Racism in UR Fraternities (1947-1985)
- Resistance & Compliance
- The Title IX Controversy at UR
- "Dark Side of College Life"
- Chinese Student Experience
- Student Life and White Supremacy
- George Modlin's Segregated University of Richmond
- Students of Color at UR (1946-1971)
- Performance & Policy
- Silence in the Archives
- Black Student Experience at UR (1970-1992)
- Faculty Response to Institutional and National Change (1968-1973)
- Building the Web
- Something Wrong with the System
- Culture of Complacency
- On Campus but Not Welcomed
- Can I Survive?
- Where I Come From, You Recognize Humanity
- The Damage of the Affirmative Action Myth
- A Feather in Their Cap: The Story of Barry Greene (R'72)
- A Campus Divided
- Freeman Digitally Remastered
- Remembering the Forgotten: Black Staff Members (1946-1971)
- Spider of Color: Korean-American Representation at the University of Richmond
- Theater History at the University of Richmond
- Digital Stories
- Oral History Collection
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- Subjects List
Yearbook Stories & Caricatures
There are stories featured in the early University of Richmond yearbooks, that use racist language, and caricatures as a way to stigmatize African Americans. Stories, and caricatures such as these were common during the Civil War and after, in order to dehumanize and delegitimize the rights of blacks. These caricatures and stories, were used as entertainment, and appear in the yearbooks as jokes, even though they are reflections of a racist ideology. Below is a description of each story, as well as a link to where they can be found in the archive if one wishes to read them in full.
This short story written in the 1910 yearbook is titled "Mammy Rose" and centers around a young man Marse Roberts who has lost hope at being successful. However, an older "colored" woman comes upon him, and they reconnect as she took care of him when he was younger. Although Roberts states that a lot of what he became is due to the help of Mammy Rose, she refuses to take credit and instead tells him how wonderful his mother was. She then says that she will stay with him, clean his house, and gives him money because it was what she promised his mother when he died. This short story plays into the common trope of black servants and enslaved people being grateful to serve. The narrative of Mammy Rose is also written in "negro" dialect, depending on misspells to portray black people as inferior, and exaggerated to express inferiority.
Uncle Remus on Coeds & Other Sotries
There are quite a few short stories, in the yearbooks, or the school newspaper The Messenger, that contain stories that focus on using racist dialect as a form of entertainment. The first short story written in the 1911 yearbook titled, "Uncle Remus on Co-eds" and goes into detail about the elaborate parties that co-eds throw, through the narrative of Uncle Remus. The second story that was feautred in The Messenger, is titiled "Uncle Cy Gets Points on College Life" and was published in 1914. It focuses on student life, and academics at the University of Richmond when a student is discussing his life at the university to a black farm worker. Finally "Uncle Job" which also was in a 1916 copy of The Messenger focuses on the lives of former slaves, as they continue to live on the property they were enslaved on. In this story Uncle Job is sent to pick up Aunt Mirandy, the former nurse to the white children of the house. He recieves a call that Aunt Mirandy will not be coming because she has been killed up North, due to her race. This story again uses racist dialect, and introduces the formerly enslaved, as loyal to their previous masters, and choosing to remain on the property. The use of dialect, as well as portraying the narrative that enslaved blacks were loyal and cared for their masters, is a false narrative portrayed as a part of Lost Cause Ideology. This narrative elimated the brutality of slavery, and allowed previous plantation owners to absolve themselves of blame.
Our Pride of Ancestry
This essay is different from the previous two, as it was written to explain the history of the University of Richmond. The essay was written in the 1915 yearbook, by student Evan Chesterman who focuses on the history of the University, paying special attention to the University during and after the Civil War. Chesterman uses racist when describing the abandoned college campus during the Civil War as “a little darkey’s kinky head divided off into squares by curl papers.” He also goes onto discuss the “humiliation of the worst kind,” during the war, when Richmond was evacuated due to the approach of Union soldiers. It is described that “a negro regiment was quartered in the college building,” and that “these swart occupants of the property proved more obnoxious- and more destructive- than a swarth of cockroaches in a pantry.” Though it has been confirmed that Union Soldiers did occupy the University at one point, this is one of the first mentions of a black battalion. Although there is not much evidence further proving this, one should pay attention to the ways in which the black occupation of the school did cause such disgust, especially considering this essay was written 50 years after the Civil War.
Throughout the University of Richmond yearbooks, there are many racist caricatures of African Americans, used as images for section headers, and comedic purposes. This is again a reflection of ideology spread during the Civil War, and after, as caricatures were used to portray blacks as less than, and dehumanize them. The images in the yearbooks, should serve as reminders that such stereotypes were encouraged. The image in the 1921 yearbook, “A Spider of Color” shows a racist caricature of a black student, and is in the joke section of the yearbook, suggesting that the idea of a black University of Richmond student, is far-fetched, and hilarious. Such images seem as though they could be a product of their time, but at this point the Civil War was 50 years ago, and such ideology still was circulated, and the University was a place where such ideology could exist in such a public manner.