Now that cooler weather is here and our classrooms are in full swing, taking part in some indoor enrichment is much more appealing. Whether you plan on visiting one of these dynamic spaces on a field trip or simply for enhancing your own knowledge, please pass the word on to fellow colleagues and students. Central Virginia has so much to offer history lovers, and the excitement of the newest Smithsonian Institution inspired me to include some additional museums focusing on the African-American experience. Please note that this list is in no way exhaustive; please write to us (or post on our Facebook page) about educational resources near you.
- National Museum of African-American History and Culture -- http://nmaahc.si.edu
The website alone is absolutely stunning with loads of primary sources, access to collections, and a dedicated educator page that will continue to grow. President Obama’s dedication speech is currently on the website; listening to the speech with students and perusing the current website would make for a wonderful introduction to this national treasure.
- Black History Museum & Cultural Center of Virginia -- www.blackhistorymuseum.org
Right in our backyard (at least for those in RVA) is the stunningly renovated Black History Museum, located in the historic Armory on Leigh Street. There are rotating and permanent exhibitions which tell the story of the rich history, heritage, and accomplishments of African Americans in Virginia.
- Robert Russa Moton Museum -- www.motonmuseum.org
In Farmville, Virginia, sits an important museum for understanding the student birthplace of the American Civil Rights Movement. There is a short and very compelling video on the website about Prince Edward County’s massive resistance to school integration, culminating in the shutdown of public schools. A moving book that provides a strong background about the plight of African-American students in Farmville is Something Must Be Done About Prince Edward County by Kristen Green.