Race & Racism at the University of Richmond

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Resources

This page offers a preliminary list of resources, including useful links to primary documents, significant digital projects, and citations to secondary reading. The following material is structured into several interest topics and study themes.

African American History and Archaeology

Useful Links

Mapping East End Cemetery: This site from the University of Richmond’s Spatial Analysis Lab describes ArcGIS collector projects to map the forgotten gravestones in Richmond’s East End Cemetery.

House Bill 1547: This was bill drafted by Virginia State Delegate Delores McQuinn, a delegate from Richmond, and is part of a national effort to preserve historical graves and cemeteries of African-Americans who lived from 1800-1900. If HB 1547 is passed, $35,000 in state funding will be allocated to the preservation of historical African American cemeteries, matching the state funding for the upkeep of Confederate graves.

Bandy Field Nature Park: An archived webpage from the Richmond Recreation and Parks Foundation details the rich history of Bandy Field Nature Park in the West End. The park has a rich history involving the Civil War and autonomous African American community development.

Recommended Readings

Harlan, Howard H. (1935). Location and Physical Characteristics. In Zion Town --- A Study in Human Ecology (pp. 1-14). Charlottesville, Va.: Univesity of Virginia.

This 1935 paper provides an overview of “Negro Settlements” in the City of Richmond, centering on the Zion Town settlement, just west of the University of Richmond, off River Road. Harlan suggests that laborers discovered an “old burying ground for Ben Green’s slaves” just below the Westhampton Lake dam, at the center of the University of Richmond campus.

Palmer, Brian (2017, January 7). “For the Forgotten African-American Dead.” The New York Times.

Brian Palmer narrates his family & community’s efforts to restore East End Richmond, a predominately black neighborhood in Richmond, VA. Amidst a troubling national trend of overgrown, vandalized, and dilapidated African American cemeteries, Palmer describes legislative efforts in Richmond to gain funding for the restoration and upkeep of these gravesites.

Digital Memory and the Archive

Recommended Readings

Cook, Terry (2013). Evidence, Memory, Identity, and Community: Four Shifting Archival Paradigms. Archival Science 13(2-3), 95-120.

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. (2006). What is this a picture of?: Some Thoughts on Images and Archive. Rhetoric & Public Affairs, 12(2), 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 (1995). Reading the Past against the Grain: The Shape of Memory Studies. Critical Studies in Mass Communication, 12(2), 214-239.

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. 

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, Aydin, Andrew, Powell, Nate, & Walton, Leigh (2016). March: Book 1. Marietta, Ga.: Top Shelf Productions.

March: Book 1 “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, Aydin, Andrew, Powell, Nate, & Walton, Leigh (2016). March: Book 2. Marietta, Ga.: Top Shelf Productions.

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, Aydin, Andrew, Powell, Nate, & Walton, Leigh (2016). March: Book 3. Marietta, Ga.: Top Shelf Productions.

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, Barbara 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. (1995). The Whites of Their Eyes: Racist Ideologies and the Media. In Gender, Race and Class in Media (pp. 18-22). Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications, Inc.

In The Whites of Their Eyes, Stuart Hall 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. Hall suggests that the media does this through inferential racism, or guided representations of events and situations relating to race, where racist premises are unquestioned assumptions. 

hooks, bell. (1992). Black Looks: Race and Representation (First ed.). New York, N.Y.: South End Press.

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 on her own experiences and sense of identities, hooks examines topics such as “otherness” and cultural appropriation in advertising, fashion, and pop culture.

Williams, P. J. (1992). The Brass Ring and the Deep Blue Sea. In Alchemy of Race and Rights: Diary of a Law Professor (Revised Edition). Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

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. 

Liberatory Archives

Useful Links

SAADA: The South Asian American Digital Archive is a project founded by Michelle Caswell and Samip Mallick. SAADA represents the transformation from an archival imaginary into a celebratory and reflective digitized space without a physical location.

Recommended Readings

Caswell, Michelle. “Inventing New Archival Imaginaries: Theoretical Foundations for Identity-Based Community Archives.Identity Palimpsests: Archiving Ethnicity in the U.S. and Canada, edited by Dominique Daniel and Amalia S. Levi. Sacramento, Calif.: Litwin Books, 2013. 35-55.

Michelle Caswell describes three major theoretical concepts undergirding identity based community archives: strategic essentialism, memoryscapes, and archival imaginaries.  Caswell is an assistant professor of Information Studies and Archival Studies at University of California: Los Angeles.

Drake, Jarrett M. “Liberatory Archives: Towards Belonging and Believing" (Part 1)” and “Liberatory Archives: Towards Belonging and Believing (Part 2).” Medium, October 22, 2016.

A self described “archives nihilist,” Jarrett M. Drake delivers a critique of institutional archives and a vision for the future of the practice.

Imarisha, Walidah. “The Liberated Archive Morning Keynote.” Society of American Archivists Annual Conference, 2017. Audio. Transcript available here.

Walidah Imarisha examines the part of a community archives in conveying and illustrating community stories and ensuring all stories are recounted honestly and accurately. 

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, B. (2012). Richmond's Unhealed History. Richmond, Va.: Brandylane Publishers, Inc.

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

Mordecai, S. (1856). Richmond in By-Gone Days (First ed.). Richmond, Va.: George M. West.

Samuel Mordecai, the "Chronicler of Richmond" wrote this series of vignettes in 1856, providing anicdotal histories and reminisces of Richmond in the last days before the American Civil War. Mordecai was a Richmond native, and a member of Kahal Kadosh Beth Shalome, the first Synagogue built in Richmond, Virginia, and the first Sephardic Kahal in Virginia.

Peeples, E. H. (2015). Scalawag: A White Southerner's Journey through Segregation to Human Rights Activism (N. MacLean, Ed.). Charlottesville, Va.: University of Virginia Press.

Edward Peeples' capitvating personal account tells the story of a white working-class boy who became an unlikely civil rights activist.

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 Campus: Exploring 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, J. R., & Alley, R. S., Jr. (2010). University of Richmond (Campus History). Charleston, S.C.: Arcadia Publishing.

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. 

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

This book was published on the occasion of the exhibition Circa 1914, an exhibition at the Marsh Art Gallery at the University of Richmond, now known as the Joel and Lila Harnett Museum of Art. Featuring photography and essays from Stuart L. Wheeler and Vernon Mays, architecture critic Edwin Slipek describes the University of Richmond through its recognizable Gothic architecture. The publication explains the founding of Richmond College, the administration's eventual move toward the establishment of Westhampton College, and the University’s progress in the modern era.