Have you ever been to The Westhampton Theater on Grove Avenue? Did you know that for a period of time in the 1950s and 1960s the balcony which is now a second theater, was where all African Americans sat? My husband remembers very well going to see movies when he was a child and looking up to see only black faces in the balcony.
This is only one of the facts you might learn about your hometown from a recent exhibit at the Virginia Historical Society called "The Civil Rights Movement in Virginia." It includes photographs comparing white and black school facilities, desks used by students in black schools, and kiosks airing interviews with civil rights activists, lawyers and students who were part of the integration of Virginia public schools. Though the exhibit is no longer at the museum, an on-line version of it is available at
You may receive extra credit by visiting this site during the next three weeks to see what you can learn about the Jim Crow Laws and other issues involving segregation in Richmond and Virginia. Read through the site and the links it provides and take notes on things that strike you as you read. Note the things that you think about as you read and make notes. Did it change the way you think about anything or simply confirm previous ideas? Did it shock you? How or why or why not? Do you know anyone with personal experience with this time period?
When you finish, take your notes and sit down at the computer to write a response for me. This can be an informal appraisal of your experience reading the site. What did you learn? How did you feel? You may use first person and should write a page or two. The organization of your response, the tone, the content is all up to you. Hand in that piece along with your notes for an extra credit quiz grade.
Due: After Spring Break