"Murray describes her work with the Workers' Defense League towards the defense of Odell Waller, an African American sharecropper sentenced to death for the murder of his landlord during the early 1940s. In addition to describing the case in vivid detail, Murray identifies her experiences with the Waller case as especially pivotal in her decision to pursue a career in law. The case also brought her into contact with Leon Ransom of Howard University, who eventually arranged for her to attend the law school on full scholarship." Oral History Interview with Pauli Murray, February 13, 1976. Interview G-0044. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
"...aims to document the impact of the civil rights movement on area residents. This service-learning project was established in the fall of 2012 by CNU history professor Dr. Laura Puaca, in conjunction with two community organizations, the Newsome House Museum and Cultural Center and the Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center. Most of the interviews were carried out by students enrolled in Dr. Puaca’s History 341 class, “The Long Civil Rights Movement.” Students worked in pairs to prepare, conduct, and transcribe an interview with a member of the local community.
This collection contains both the original audio files as well as the interview transcripts, which have been reviewed and edited by the students and HROHP staff. Transcripts were also sent to each interviewee for review. The transcripts seek to remain faithful to the original content of each interview while assisting readability (eliminating false starts and filler words such as "uh," providing additional clarifying information when necessary, etc.).
These interviews are part of an on-going and permanent collection that will grow over time."
"In a unanimous decision, the Court held that distinctions drawn according to race were generally "odious to a free people" and were subject to "the most rigid scrutiny" under the Equal Protection Clause. The Virginia law, the Court found, had no legitimate purpose "independent of invidious racial discrimination." The Court rejected the state's argument that the statute was legitimate because it applied equally to both blacks and whites and found that racial classifications were not subject to a "rational purpose" test under the Fourteenth Amendment. The Court also held that the Virginia law violated the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. "Under our Constitution," wrote Chief Justice Earl Warren, "the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual, and cannot be infringed by the State.""
"By examining documents and visual materials, and enhancing these with oral interviews of surviving original residents and their relatives, we hope to expand the discussion of the origins of federal housing and to preserve the collective memories of an important chapter in Hampton Roads history. " A project from Norfolk State University
"... is an archive about the racial segregation laws, or the 'Jim Crow' laws from the late 1880s until the mid-twentieth century. The focus of the collection is the town of Charlottesville in Virginia. The Jim Crow laws segregated African-Americans from white Americans in public places such as schools, and school buses. The archive contains photos, letters, two regional censuses and a flash map of the town of Charlottesville. The Jim Crow laws were not overturned until the important Brown versus Board of Education court ruling in 1954 (but not totally eliminated until the Civil Rights Act of the 1964). "
The Library of Virginia’s collections are rich with records documenting the lives of African Americans in Virginia. However, access to those materials dating from before the American Civil War is limited at best. These limitations are the result of period perspectives on the identities of enslaved and disenfranchised populations, as well as sheer volume. Due to this, the individual stories form a narrative of a people that has not been fully told.
The Library’s African American Narrative project aims to provide greater accessibility to pre-1865 African American history and genealogy found in the rich primary sources in its holdings. Traditional description, indexing, transcription, and digitization are major parts of this effort. However, and perhaps more importantly, this project seeks to encourage conversation and engagement around the records, providing opportunities for a more grassroots and diverse narrative of the history of Virginia’s African American people.
Book Sources: African Americans - Virginia
A selection of books/e-books available in Trible Library.
Click the title for location and availability information.