Research Projects & Exhibitions

The first project Disfranchisemant and African American Resistance in Charlottesville, 1900-1925, deals with THE RIGHT TO VOTE campaign for African-Americans or 'suffrage'. This is a privilege that is often taken for granted by white citizens. However, for African Americans living in the Jim Crow South, obtaining and maintaining this right proved to be a long and hard battle. In 1867, the state of Virginia guaranteed African-American suffrage, but a number of white politicians spent the next sixty years trying to disfranchise and eliminate African-American political involvement. Charlottesville is used as a case study here.

This project was developed in an advanced African-American Studies research seminar (AAS405) under the supervision of Joshua Rothman (see also AAS 405).

The Proffit Historic District Online Resource Archive is designed to provide easy access to a variety of research tools for teachers, researchers, and community members interested in learning about the town of Proffit and its history. The Resource Archive was created by the Carter G. Woodson Institute for Afro-American and African Studies.

Since 1917 the J.F. Bell Funeral Home has served the community of central Virginia. When members of the community and of local families want to learn about people and places of the community's past, the Bell family helps them. In the summer of 2001, the Bell family decided to collaborate with the local African-American Genealogy Group to make it easier to provide information about earlier generations. As part of the effort records of the people buried by the Bell Funeral Home before 1970 were located, reorganized, and the burial information compiled into an electronic database.

Other Resources

This is list of some of the major archival locations for materials on life in Albemarle County during the Jim Crow era. After some basic information on each archive is a description of the major source materials available. Most descriptions are accompanied by an exemplary image of the source being discussed. Unless otherwise noted, sources cited are available for at least the first thirty years of the twentieth century. This guide is intended to facilitate further research by helping students of the period know what they might expect to find. But the sources described are not exhaustive of the materials in each archive. Part of the excitement of historical research lies in turning up the unanticipated, and researchers are encouraged to find materials not discussed here.

This essay was originally written in May 1998 as an effort to describe a semester-long exploration of source materials available on African-American life in Charlottesville and Albemarle County in the early twentieth century. Obviously, it does not discuss every available source, but it is intended to suggest the kinds of information that can be drawn from the particular sources discussed, to provide some very preliminary suggestions about what that information tells us, and to suggest directions for a more substantive essay.

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