DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
SUPTS. MEMO NO. 19
January 25, 2008
Billy K. Cannaday, Jr.
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Black History Month Resources
African Americans are prominent in
A new resource, Virginia African American
Trailblazers, highlights the historic contributions of African Americans since
the first Africans arrived in
The U.S. Department of Education, Federal Resources for Educational Excellence, provides an in-depth collection of African American resources at http://www.free.ed.gov/subjects.cfm?subject_id=116&res_feature_request=1
African American History Sites from the
Library of Virginia focus on topics in
Many African Americans have figured prominently in
their respective fields throughout the past century, including such
distinguished Virginians as Oliver W. Hill, Esquire, whose 1954 argument in
Brown v. the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, mandated the integration of
America's public schools; Mrs. Maggie Walker, a prominent civic leader and
founder and President of the St. Luke Penny Bank, the first American bank
established and operated by a woman of any race; the Honorable L. Douglas
Wilder, Virginia's sixty-sixth Governor and the first African American from any
state to win a gubernatorial election; the late Arthur Ashe, winner of the U.S.
Open and Wimbledon tennis championships; and Gabriel Prosser, a charismatic blacksmith, owned by Thomas Prosser of
Henrico County, who planned to enter Richmond with force, capture the Capitol
and the Virginia State Armory, and hold Governor James Monroe hostage to
bargain for freedom for Virginia's slaves. Many other African
Americans have made important contributions to our society, such as Martin
Luther King, Jr., our nation's greatest civil rights activist; Jackie Robinson,
the first African American to integrate Major League Baseball; Thurgood
Marshall, the first African American United States Supreme Court Justice; and
Rosa Parks, whose famous decision to remain in her seat symbolized the spirit
of the Civil Rights Movement.
For more information, please contact Betsy Barton, specialist for history and social science, by e-mail at Betsy.Barton@doe.virginia.gov or by telephone at (804) 225-3454.