Issue 6: Winter 2001 page 2
Black History Month Symposium
In celebration of Black History Month, the Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site, in cooperation with the Maggie L. Walker Historical Foundation hosted a symposium featuring four topics. The symposium illuminated the national theme, "Creating and Defining the African-American Community: Family, Church, Politics and Culture," and was moderated by Superintendent Cynthia MacLeod.
Dr. Edgar A. Toppin, Professor, Department of History and African-American Studies, Virginia Commonwealth University and Virginia State University offered a historical perspective on the African-American struggle for political empowerment. Dr. Audrey L. Brown, an Ethnographer in the Archeology and Ethnography Program, National Park Service, Washington, D.C. spoke on "Goin' Home, Goin' Home, I'm Just Goin' Home: Archeological Perspectives on African American Culture." Her talk identified what the archeological record shows about the housing, settlement and foodway patterns of African-Americans who formerly lived on sites excavated in New England, Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, and concluded by discussing the socio-political importance of cultural history and reconstruction of the past through ethnohistory, ethnography and archeology. Rangers Monamma AL-Ghuiyy and Celia Suggs from Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site presented a talk on the African-American family. To finish, Reverend Arthur S. Jones, Pastor, Third Street Bethel A.M.E. Church spoke on the church in the Black community.
Did You Know?
The Confederate government hired slave labor from all around Virginia. The slaves helped build earthen fortifications for the protection of Richmond; the government paid the slaves' owners for their work.