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April 26, 2022 
Learning Local History and Leadership Go Together!
Last Saturday, an African American youth leadership group (Leadership Links) came to Court Square, Charlottesville to take a walking tour with Beloved Community Cville Docents, DeTeasa Gathers and Kathy Spaar. Photo credit: Michael Cheuk
UVA Rotunda & The Role of Enslaved Laborers
Learn about the UVA Rotunda from Lyall Harris, Docent for Beloved Community Cville, by watching this video.

Starting in July 1817, Jefferson assigned ten enslaved persons to clear what had once been James Monroe's cornfield. As construction began, enslaved men worked alongside whites and free Blacks to construct the Rotunda and other buildings that made up the “academical village.” Records show that in 1825, fifteen enslaved laborers made approximately 900,000 bricks to build the Rotunda, which would serve as the University library. Many of these enslaved men were rented out to the University builders by local landowners, including Jefferson. The Board of Visitors paid the enslavers an average of $60 a year for each man. From the very beginning, slavery was deeply woven into the fabric of the University. 

To learn more, click HERE and HERE. Also, explore the “UVA History from a Black Perspective” virtual timeline.

The above video is part of the Virtual Tour Project currently under development by Beloved Community Cville.

Raised/Razed Premiere Film Screening
Saturday, April 30th | 8 pm - 9:15 pm | JSAAH 
Lorenzo Dickerson and Jordy Yager proudly present Raised/Razed, a documentary film about the life and destruction of Vinegar Hill, one of the oldest African American neighborhoods in Charlottesville, Va. Sponsored by Maupintown Media, the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center, and VPM, Raised/Razed will premiere at a special outdoor screening on Saturday, April 30th at 8PM at the historic Jefferson School in Charlottesville, Va. in the heart of the city’s Vinegar Hill neighborhood. Tickets are available HERE

Virtual Discussion
Saturday, May 7, 2022 | 12:00 - 2:00 pm | Zoom

This session is the first of a facilitated discussion series focused on the safety of Black youth in our area. A film clip will be shown and a guest speaker will be available for insights into the problem and safety information. The virtual event is sponsored by the White Feather Historical and Educational Project of Trinity Episcopal Church and Coming to the Table of Charlottesville, VA. RSVP HERE.

Television Debut of Raised/Razed 
Thursday, May 12th | 9:00 pm | VPM/PBS
The television debut of the film is scheduled for May 12th at 9 pm on VPM PBS. More information, including the trailer, is available HERE.  


Montpelier Transformed: A Monument to James Madison and its Enslaved Community

Thursday, May 12th | 7pm | Virtual Event
The Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society will host author and former Montpelier Foundation Board member, William Lewis, for a discussion of his new book "Montpelier Transformed: A Monument to James Madison and its Enslaved Community." REGISTER to attend this virtual event. 


Swords Into Plowshares Community Survey

In December, the Charlottesville City Council voted to give the city’s recently-removed statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee to the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center (JSAAHC). [Read the news release.] The JSAAHC plans to melt down the monument to transform its bronze material into a work of public art. The public art project, called “Swords Into Plowshares,” will be informed by a community engagement process. Charlottesville area residents are invited to take this anonymous SURVEY. If you belong to a group that would be interested in discussing this project further, send a message to with your group’s name and contact information.

Charlottesville Civil Rights Tour
June 16-26, 2022
The Jefferson School African American Heritage Center and The Memory Project at UVA Democracy Initiative are partnering to offer (again) a Charlottesville Civil Rights Tour. The tour is open to Charlottesville community members passionate about racial justice who want to learn more about the U.S. civil rights struggle. The cost is $2,750 per person, not including flights. For more information about the tour, click HERE. Click HERE to register, sponsor a participant, and/or apply for a scholarship. 

Pearl Island Cafe & Catering

Pearl Island Foods makes Caribbean cuisine accessible through its café, catering, and developing packaged foods brand. This family-run business is the vision of Sober Pierre, founder and president of Pearl Island Foods. Beyond offering tasty Caribbean flavors, Pearl Island offers an experience. Their goal is to create an experience that allows guests to explore the Caribbean through their food, art, and music.

Visit the café, located at 233 4th St NW Charlottesville, VA 22903. For more information, check them out on Facebook or Instagram. You can place orders ONLINE or by phone at (434) 466-0092. 

3rd Annual National Antiracist Book Festival
Saturday, April 30 
| 9:00-6:00 pm | Online
The National Antiracist Book Festival is the first and only book festival that brings together, showcases, and celebrates the nation’s leading antiracist writers. It is hosted every April by the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research. Learn more or buy tickets HERE.

2022 Greens Cook-Off

Saturday, April 30 | 3:00-5:00 pm | JSAAHC Front Lawn
Food is an important part of communal gatherings. When you hear someone say let me fix you a plate, you hear love. The Greens Cook-Off celebrates the communal moment of past traditions and future innovation while also redefining what southern cooking looks like. Entry to the Cook-Off is free, with a suggested donation of $5 to celebrate the winners. Entries are accepted in three categories: greens of any kind (vegetarian and non-vegetarian), mac and cheese (vegetarian and non-vegetarian), and pound cake. Each cook will have a 6ft table and must supply their own food, display, and serving material for 100 patrons. Table covers, serving cups, and cutlery will be provided. Entrants must submit their recipe for judging. Enter HERE to be a cook.

Picturing Climate - Exhibition
Now - May 28 | Jefferson School African American Heritage Center

Picturing Climate provides a window into local actions to promote climate justice and aspires to broaden local resident engagement in ongoing advocacy work. Photographs, artwork, and poetry from area youth will be showcased alongside interactive data to shed light on the nature of climate injustice in our region. The exhibition is a collaboration between UVa’s Equity Center and the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center. For more INFO.

Exhibit: Memory Quilts 
Now - June 4 | Jefferson School African American Heritage Center
The exhibit includes the work of master quilter, Deloris Jones Thomas. A master quilter, Thomas researched old patterns, those associated with the Underground Railroad and ideas of her own making, to explore the relationship between color and form. The nine quilts included in Memory Quilts move beyond mere function to describe Thomas’s sense of her lived and remembered environs. More information HERE
Note: Masks are required when visiting JSAAHC.

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