Local African American History

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Resources at JMRL

Dream Not of Other Worlds: Teaching in a Segregated Elementary School, 1970 by Huston Diehl

The story of a Louisa County teacher teaching in a segregated elementary school in 1970.


From Porch Swings to Patios: An Oral History Project of Charlottesville Neighborhoods 1914-1984 by the Charlottesville Department of Community Development

Read it online here


Hidden History: African American Cemeteries in Central Virginia by Lynn Rainville

A local archaeologist takes a look at African American cemeteries, burial practices, and what these cemeteries tell us about a community whose history is not always easy to trace.


Pride Overcomes Prejudice: A History of Charlottesville’s African American School ed. by Andrea Douglas

A history of black education in Charlottesville, particularly at the Jefferson School.


Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers’ Project, 1936-1938

A folk history from oral interviews with former slaves of Virginia prepared by the Federal Writers’ Project. Although this doesn’t have accounts from the Charlottesville area, readers will learn read about conditions of slavery throughout Virginia from the mouths of those closest to it.


Urban Renewal and the End of Black Culture in Charlottesville, Virginia by James Robert Saunders and Renae Nadine Shackelford

A detailed account of the Urban Renewal Project in the Vinegar Hill area of Charlottesville, Virginia, including oral histories of Vinegar Hill by the people who lived there.


Virginia Landmarks of Black History ed. by Calder Loth

Lists Virginia sites on the Virginia Landmarks Register, including several sites in Charlottesville and the surrounding area, including Monticello, Mount Zion Baptist Church in Charlottesville, Bremo in Fluvanna County, and Stanton Family Cemetery in Buckingham.


Master of the Mountain: Thomas Jefferson and His Slaves by Henry Wiencek

This biography of America’s third president looks at new studies and personal records to set straight his contradictions on what he said about slavery and what he actually practiced.


Website of Interest

Albemarle-Charlottesville Historical Society: http://albemarlehistory.org/

Your local historical society is a wealth of information - visit this branch of JMRL for in-depth research, including photograph collections, genealogy, and more.


Jefferson School African American Heritage Center: http://jeffschoolheritagecenter.org/local-history/isabella-gibbons-local-history-center/

Visit this center which the Isabella Gibbons Local History Center for more local history, do genealogical research, and utilize the Jefferson School Portal to access oral histories of students of the Jefferson School from 1930-1960.


History of Vinegar Hill: http://www2.iath.virginia.edu/schwartz/vhill/vhill.html

A great resource to familiarize you with the history of Vinegar Hill and view photos from before the Urban Renewal Project.


Vinegar Hill Project: http://www.vinegarhillproject.org/

Check out this wonderful history of the Vinegar Hill neighborhood, and the Urban Renewal Project there.