The national and global responses and outrage to the terrible and tragic events of George Floyd’s killing illuminate the long and violent American history of racism and injustice that began in 1619 with the beginnings of American slavery in Virginia. The study of history and the interpretation of historic places must include new and revised narratives that acknowledge the significance and contributions of African Americans whose stories have been suppressed, excluded, misrepresented and undervalued.
Now is the time to listen.
Preservation Virginia is committed to listening and working together with other nonprofit and public partners and individuals to confront racism and the injustice so evident throughout Virginia’s and our nation’s history. This history is not solely a legacy of the past, and it is still present and responsible for the continued harm that is happening in Virginia today, particularly in African American communities and neighborhoods.
As we strive as an organization to confront our own past and to engage in reflections and collaborations on how we can aid in the dialogues and hard work related to race and preservation in historic sites, public spaces, schools, museums and other places, we encourage you to support the work of sites and organizations such as the Alexandria Black History Museum, the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center, Scrabble School, Sacred Ground Historical Reclamation Project, Virginia Africana and emerging sites such as the Freedom House Museum opening in 2021 to learn more about African American place-based history and how the painful and hurtful legacy of slavery is being confronted and revealed in Virginia today.