The Reflector, an African-American newspaper printed in Charlottesville from 1933-1935, is an excellent source for understanding the lives of Charlotteville's African Americans during the Jim Crow period. The newspaper, local in nature and published by an African-American, enables individuals interested in Southern black life during Jim Crow to recognize abstract notions of struggle, politics, and culture through real accounts of black life. This web-site presents interactions between black citizens and the community of Charlottesville, and the effects of the interactions on each. The Reflector facilitates a step in the direction of clear interpretations of Southern black life. Simply put, our goal is to present The Reflector in a clear, meaningful way that leads to questions about African-American life in the Jim Crow South.

Photo used with permission of Special Collections of Alderman Library of the University of Virginia. It is a part of the Holsinger collection.

Photo used with permission of Special Collections of Alderman Library of the University of Virginia. It is a part of the Holsinger collection.

Our website presents The Reflector in four related sections. The first section, About the Editor, portrays the known life of The Reflector's editor, Thomas Sellers. Because most articles in The Reflector were written by Sellers, this section is crucial to understanding the African-American perspective that our site presents. The section entitled National Historical Context establishes the large political arena within which events covered in The Reflector take place. The next section takes a brief look at the History of African American Newspapers. These three portions of the project enable participants to see events not as occurances removed from their context, but rather as historical phenomena rooted in a specific time and place. The fourth portion of our project, Charlottesville Society, uses articles in The Reflector to draw conclusions about aspects of Charlotteville's African-American community during the mid 1930's. Based largely on Sellers' weekly column entitled "Society Notes," this section portrays some of the clubs and organizations that were meaningful to many in Charlottesville's African American community. The last portion of the essay, Black Education in Charlottesville, looks into Charlottesville's African American school (the Jefferson School) as represented in The Reflector. Special attention is paid to Jefferson School activities as well as national and state educational issues covered in The Reflector.

The presentations of each section are primarily based on specific articles in The Reflector. If you are interested in articles outside of our coverage, we have included a list of articles that we have transcribed from The Reflector that are currently available on out site.

Project Home Page
About the Editor
National Historical Context
History of African-American Newspapers
Charlottesville Society
Black Education in Charlottesville
Reflector Articles