Race & Racism at the University of Richmond

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This essay was written by University of Richmond student, Richard Cook, who chastises the university for its continuation of its segregation policy. Cook's main argument is that while the university prides itself on being an advanced forward-looking…

Despite his family having immigrated to the United States from Europe in the late 19th century, the author of this essay states, “I’ve no claim to be an American.” He establishes that his family has helped the government because it has helped…

This 1907 Messenger essay details the University's history as it is described as a matter of great interest to students and the community. Among the history of the foundation of the college, there is discussion of a "colored" server named Tom who Mr.…

This essay, written by freshman John E. Donaldson, was the opening piece in the Fall 1957 edition of The Messenger. In it, Donaldson describes his hesitance toward forced integration. He begins his argument by asserting that he is "not defending the…

This 1877 essay from Monthly Musings, the predecessor to the Messenger literary magazine, argues against the Theory of Evolution. It begins with the assertion that the belief that men were once "savages" is currently fashionable. The writer looks to…

The 1967 edition of the Messenger's theme was "controversy." Its final piece, "The 20th Century vs. The U of R," argues that the University should have less of an influence on students' morality and not act as their "guardian." The piece's author,…

This essay by then-editor-in-chief Louise Dinwiddie, analyzes the 1929 poem "The Chinese Nightingale" by white American writer Vachel Lindsay. The poem mentions many facets of Chinese culture and, as Dinwiddie recognizes, asserts that culture is…

This eulogy written in the "In Memorandum" section of the Fall 1957 Messengernotes the death and service of Esau Brooks, a black athletic trainer and staff member at the University. The piece demonstrates a great deal of admiration for its subject…

This cartoon shows a white ventriloquist agreeing to his sentiment of, "We were all mighty happy until we were interfered with... Weren't we?" with a blackface-wearing ventriloquist's dummy. This refers to forced integration that occurred in public…

This comedic map of the University of Richmond campus features racist jokes. One can be seen in the captions around the gym, called "Jim," which refer to black athletic trainer Esau Brooks as "the Indian rubber man." Running to the gym is an "Indian…
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