For Black activists and leaders in the Valley, there’s more work the country must do toward achieving equality in America — that dream of which Martin Luther King, Jr. famously spoke. And that work continues today, as it did yesterday and will tomorrow in the far-too-slow bend toward justice.
In a public ceremony in the fall of 1917, six buildings on Bluestone Hill — the center of campus for what was then the State Normal and Industrial School for Women — were renamed. And for the last 103 years, four of the six have borne the monikers of men who were slaveowners or confederates.
Even after Harrisonburg’s police chief has spent much of the nearly two years in the job reviewing and implementing department policies, the efforts haven’t prevented black JMU students from fearing the police.
About 300 people, donning face masks and holding signs, gathered at Court Square in Harrisonburg on Friday evening to speak out against racism and police brutality following the death of George Floyd, who died Monday after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck.
Elderly Aunt, please help. How does one deal with the heartache of their own mother, who lives nearby, and with whom they have a close relationship, switching from being mostly silently racist, to becoming vocally racist? I feel more heartbroken than when I lost a loved one to dementia.
Members of the Charlotte Harris community remembrance project, which seeks to memorialize the African American woman who was lynched in Harrisonburg in 1878, joined forces Monday with a statewide commission to place a brighter spotlight on Virginia’s dark history of racism and lynching.
Community members tried tackling the “elephants in the room” regarding race relations in the Harrisonburg area as part of a wide-ranging discussion at the Lucy Simms Continuing Education Center Monday night.
In the name of history: Should Paul Jennings Hall coexist on a campus with buildings that also honor Confederate leaders?
JMU leaders say the naming of the new residence hall after Paul Jennings is a step toward confronting racism that has been embedded in the history of the campus and its namesake, as well as the Harrisonburg community, the commonwealth of Virginia and the country. But some people, including students and community activists in Harrisonburg, are asking what this might signal about the renaming of other buildings on JMU’s campus — the ones named after confederate leaders.