Lecture: Racial Reconciliation in Modern Richmond

Much is known about the City of Richmond’s troubled past with race and race relations. Richmond was one of the largest entrepot for the transatlantic slave trade, the capital of the Confederacy, a foundational city for Jim Crow segregation, the sacred home of Confederate memorialization, and the hotbed of Massive Resistance to school desegregation. Less talked about, however, is that Richmond was a national leader in racial reconciliation efforts after the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Residents, business leaders, and public history organizations spent the last three decades of the twentieth century seeking to fix Richmond’s economy and public history scene to overcome its reputation and reality of racial strife, a conundrum created by the city’s troubled history. Yet, Richmond’s reconciliation movement unintendedly exacerbated the vestiges of past discrimination, that being racial gaps in wealth building, housing stability, and educational achievement. This lecture, based on The Struggle for Change, implores Richmonders and those interested in urban affairs, race relations, and southern history to not see current racial disparities as a continuum of past discrimination. Rather, Richmond’s recent history shows that progressive actions and actors exacerbated systemic issues through making positive changes in their city, the South, and nation.

Dr. Marvin T. Chiles is the Assistant Professor of African American History at Old Dominion University. The Struggle for Change is his first book. He has also published several articles, including “A Period of Misunderstanding: Reforming Jim Crow in Richmond, Virginia, 1930–1954,” which won the William M. E. Rachal Award from the Virginia Museum of History & Culture in 2021.

Event Details

Date & Time

Location

Virginia Museum of History & Culture

June 11, 2022

Star Gazing and Laser Nights

Virginia Living Museum
July 9, 2022

Star Gazing and Laser Nights

Virginia Living Museum
August 13, 2022

Star Gazing and Laser Nights

Virginia Living Museum