Celebrating Black History

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February is Black History Month, and again this year, Westminster Canterbury Richmond will celebrate and observe this time of remembrance, reflection and education. The 2021 theme is “The Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity.”

The cornerstone of our celebration is the Lettie Madison Symposium.  This symposium is named in honor of Lettie Madison, a former resident who was a social worker and educator. Mrs. Madison began a series of lectures and talks to observe Black History Month. Her work continues with the annual Lettie Madison Symposium. The Symposium is generally held in February and will be held later this year when we can safely regather.

Since we are not able to safely gather in person, we will show our annual Black History Month Film series on our in-house TV970. The movies selected showcase different aspects of the Black Family and their representation.  The movies that will be shown are Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?, Sounder, Remember the Titans and Akeelah and the Bee. These movies will be aired at several times throughout the month.

Additionally, we are highlighting the achievements of four prominent Black Virginians in various publications. They are: Governor L. Douglas Wilder, the first Black elected Governor in the United States; Barbara Johns Powell, who successfully led a school boycott in Prince Edward County in 1951, leading to a lawsuit that was included in the Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954; Dr. Robert “Whirlwind” Johnson, who is known as the “godfather” of Black tennis and who coached Althea Gibson and Arthur Ashe; and Virginia E. Randolph, an educator who oversaw and helped transform vocational and other education for Black teachers and students in Henrico County Schools. You can learn more about other famous Black Virginians here.

As a community, we welcome and celebrate our diversity, and we look forward to additional ways to acknowledge the history, achievements and stories of Black Americans.