Race & Racism at the University of Richmond

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This page offers a preliminary list of resources, including useful links to primary documents,significant digital projects, and citations to secondary reading. Also, below you will find each resource divided into one of five sections. Five main themes materialized in our studies, which were used to structure the resources below. These five categories include: 1) key concepts, 2) University of Richmond history, 3) Richmond history, 4) Civil Rights history or 5) Critical Race Studies.

Digital Memory and the Archive

These readings offer context for the foundational concepts of the course: archive, evidence, and memory.

Recommended Readings

Cook, Terry. "Evidence, Memory, Identity, and Community: Four Shifting Archival Paradigms." Archival Science 13.2-3 (2012): 95-120. Web.

Cook argues that archival paradigms over the past 150 years have gone through four phases: juridical legacy, cultural memory, societal engagement, and community archiving.

Finnegan, Cara A. “What is this a picture of?: Some Thoughts on Images and Archive.” Rhetoric & Public Affairs, 9, 1 (2006): 116-123. 

Finnegan highlights the importance of metadata description suggesting that the description of artifacts within archives is a negotiated process of public memory creation. 

Zelizer, Barbie. "Reading the Past Against the Grain: The Shape of Memory Studies." Critical Studies in Mass Communication 12.2 (1995): 213-39. Web.

Zelizer discusses the development of collective memory studies as a field of inquiry. She presents six premises for collective remembering that are basic to contemporary scholarship: collective memory is processual, unpredictable, partial, useable, both particular and universal, and material. 

University of Richmond History

Useful Links

The Collegian Newspaper Archives: Provides digital access to the University of Richmond's student-run newspaper. The Collegian is digitized from 1914 through the present.

Urban CampusExploring a variety of urban campuses through narrative, mapping, and categorization, this project, which includes a collection created by Dr. Jeannine Keefer's first-year seminar on the University of Richmond, endeavors to share the transformation of the neighborhoods around urban campuses and their built identities in the form of a visual narrative. 

Recommended Readings

Alley, John Reuben, and Robert S. Alley. University of Richmond. Charleston, SC: Arcadia, 2010. Print.

Through photography, the University of Richmond tells the story of more than 175 years of shared history between the University of Richmond and the city of Richmond itself. 

Harlan, Howard H. Zion Town-- a Study in Human Ecology. Charlottesville: University of Virginia, 1935.

A study in the human ecology of Zion Town, an African American neighborhood in the West End of Richmond populated by freed slaves around 1880-1930. Most of its residents made a living doing domestic work in the neighborhood of Westhampton. Located approximately seven miles from the Richmond business district.

Slipek, Edwin J., Stuart L. Wheeler, and Vernon Mays. Ralph Adams Cram: The University of Richmond, and the Gothic Style Today. Richmond, VA: Marsh Art Gallery, University of Richmond, 1997.

Tells a story through architecture of the founding of Richmond College, the administration's eventual move toward the establishment of Westhampton College, and the university’s progress onward after that.

Richmond History

Useful Links

Library of Virginia: Houses the most comprehensive resource in the world for the study of Virginia culture, history, and government. Digital collections reflect the diverse history of the commonwealth and its people.                            

Richmond Times-Dispatch: The city's most widely circulated daily, the Richmond Times-Dispatch is accessible digitally from 1940-1986 through the Library of Virginia Newspaper Index.

The Richmond News Leader: An afternoon daily newspaper published in Richmond, Virginia from 1888 to 1992. During much of its run, it was the largest newspaper in Richmond, competing with the morning Richmond Times-Dispatch. It is accessible digitally from 1940-1986 through the Library of Virginia Newspaper Index.

The Richmond Planet: A newspaper founded in 1882 by 13 former Richmond slaves. This paper is accessible digitally from 1883-1938 through the Library of Congress' Chronicling America site.

Virginia Historical Society: Houses a variety of documents from the 19th century to the present including, but not limited to, books, sheet music, family and personal papers, business and organizational records, genealogical materials, maps, paintings, weapons, and photographs. 

Virginia Memory: Launched in 2009, is a digital resource that is part of the Library of Virginia. The site includes digital collections (including photographs, maps, archival records, and artwork, among other sources), exhibitions, a virtual reading room, and an online classroom.

Recommended Readings

Campbell, Benjamin P. Richmond's Unhealed History. Richmond, VA: Brandylane Publishers, 2012. 

In a detailed look at the history of Richmond, Campbell examines the contradictions and crises that have formed the city over more than four centuries.

Peeples, Edward H., Scalawag: A White Southerner's Journey through Segregation to Human Rights Activism. N.p.: Print. Xiii-32, 39-61, 71-135.

Scalawag tells the story of a white working-class boy who became an unlikely civil rights activist.

Civil Rights History

Useful Links

Freedom Now Project: A project done by VCU (Virgina Commonwealth University) Libraries to collect remembrances and memories of the Farmville, Va civil rights protests during the summer of 1963.

The Civil Rights Digital Library: An ambitious undertaking to provide centralized access to the wide variety of civil rights-related material that has already been digitized. The Queens College Civil Rights Archive is a partner.

The Civil Rights in Mississippi Digital Archive: A selection of digitized photographs, letters, diaries, oral history transcripts and other materials documenting a local history with national significance.

The Desegregation of Virginia Education (DOVE) project: The site was "created to identify, locate, catalog and preserve records that document Virginia's school desegregation process." Records for related collections at the Queens College Civil Rights Archive are located in their database.

The Robert Russa Moton Museum: A center for the study of Civil Rights in Education, with a specific focus on the school desegregation struggle in Prince Edward County. Some Queens College alumni tutored in the County in 1963. 

Virginia Center for Digital History: This project collects television news coverage of the civil rights era, 1950-1970.

Recommended Readings

March is a graphic novel trilogy that provides a vivid first-hand account of one of the key figures of the civil rights movement, Congressman John Lewis’ lifelong struggle for civil and human rights 

Lewis, John, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell. March. N.p.: Top Shelf Productions, 2013. Print. Book 1.

Book One “spans John Lewis’ youth in rural Alabama, his life-changing meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr., the birth of the Nashville Student Movement, and their battle to tear down segregation through nonviolent lunch counter sit-ins, building to a stunning climax on the steps of City Hall.”

 Lewis, John, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell. March. N.p.: Top Shelf Productions, 2015. Print. Book 2.

March: Book 2 continues the story of John Lewis’ journey, picking up after the success of the Nashville sit-in campaign. Now more committed than ever changing the world through nonviolence, Lewis forges ahead - but as he and his fellow Freedom Riders board a bus into the vicious heart of the deep south, they will be tested like never before.

Lewis, John, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell, and Leigh Walton. March. Marietta, GA: Top Shelf Productions, 2016. Print.

March: Book 3 is set during the later years of the civil rights movement. Co-written by Congressman John Lewis himself, the third volume of the March Trilogy brings the lessons of history to vivid life for a new generation, urgently relevant for today's world.

Critical Race Studies

Useful Links

Black Quotidian: A digital history project curated by Dr. Matthew Delmont, Professor of History at Arizona State University. Designed to “highlight everyday moments and lives in African-American history,” Black Quotidian collects historical articles from black newspapers to illuminate dimensions of black history and culture. Each day an article is posted from that date in history with a brief blog post commentary.

The Norfolk Journal and Guide: One of the nation's top selling black newspapers. One of the best researched and well written African American newspapers of its time. News articles, photos, advertisements, classified ads, obituaries, cartoons, etc. Full page and article images with searchable full text. Coverage: 1921-2003. Accessible through ProQuest.

Recommended Readings

Fields, B.J. (2001). Whiteness, Racism, and Identity. International Labor and Working-Class History (60): 48-56.

In this article, Barbara Fields argues “whiteness is the ideological counterpart of race relations, both of them ways of skirting around the relations of political, social, and economic power that have determined the place of Afro-Americans in American society.”

Hall, Stuart. The Whites of Their Eyes. Print. 81-84.

In The Whites of Their Eyes, Stuart argues that the media helps create and transform ideologies, including the definition and imagery or race by employing racist archetypes which are still observed today. He further claims the media does this through inferential racism, which is representations of events and situations relating to race, where racist premises are unquestioned assumptions. 

hooks, bell. Black Looks : Race and Representation. New York, NY: Routledge, 2015. Print.

Through a series of twelve essays, bell hooks digs ever deeper into the personal and political consequences of contemporary representations of race and ethnicity within a white supremacist culture. By drawing effectively on her own experiences and sense of identities, she examines topics such as “otherness” and cultural appropriation in advertising, fashion, and pop culture.

Williams, Patricia J. "Chapter 1." The Alchemy of Race and Rights. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1991. 5-14. Print.

The Alchemy of Race and Rights is a powerful autobiographical essay in which Patricia Williams, a lawyer and professor of commercial law, the great-great-granddaughter of a slave and a white southern lawyer, reflects on the intersection of race, gender, and class.