RICHMOND- Governor Bob McDonnell issued the following statement today regarding the beginning of Black History Month in Virginia. “Black History Month is a wonderful opportunity for Virginians to learn more about the rich and diverse history of our Commonwealth. In every region of the state there are museums, homes and exhibits that tell the story of African-Americans in Virginia and their immense contributions to both our Commonwealth and our country.
In Richmond, Virginians can visit the home of Maggie Walker, the first female bank president in the United States. In Franklin County sits the birthplace of legendary educator Booker T. Washington. Washington would go on to attend Hampton University, founded in 1868 and today one of the nation’s leading historically black universities. On that campus visitors can still see the ‘Emancipation Oak’ under which the first Southern reading of the Emancipation Proclamation took place in 1863. The Joseph Jenkins Roberts Monument in Petersburg commemorates the first President of Liberia. Born in Norfolk, Roberts was raised in the city. In Farmville, Virginians can tour the Robert Russa Moton Museum, site of Barbara Johns famous walkout in 1951 which became a key part of Brown v. Board of Education three years later.
As we begin this month, I encourage all citizens to learn more about black history in Virginia. There is no better state in which to celebrate Black History Month.”
For a list of historical sites/museums/tours commemorating black history in Virginia, please visit: http://www.virginia.org/site/features.asp?FeatureID=259