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 All HCPL locations will be closed Wednesday, June 19 in observance of Juneteenth.

Library News

Freedom Fighters & Hidden Histories


Juneteenth is just weeks away and in commemoration of the holiday the Library has organized a series of programs that centers around Black stories from near and far. Explore the history of Black people in Henrico County by transcribing primary source documents from 19th century Henrico County, experience a live historical interpretation of Gabriel Prosser, learn about Black communities throughout the Coastal South and their displacement, and discover sea-inspired myths, legends and folklore from Africa. We hope you will join us at the Library as we celebrate Juneteenth!

Virginia Untold: The African American Narrative Project

Saturday, June 4, 11-12:30PM at Libbie Mill Library

Saturday, June 4, 2-3:30PM at Fairfield Library

Lydia Neuroth from the Library of Virginia leads a transcription workshop with materials from the Virginia Untold project. Using the From the Page platform, participants will transcribe handwritten documents related to the lives of enslaved and free Black people in pre-1865 Henrico County. There will be a short presentation introducing the project and its usage, plus instruction to guide the group in a hands-on transcription activity.

Henrico Living History: Gabriel Prosser

Saturday, June 4, 1-2PM at Twin Hickory

Saturday, June 11, 1-2PM at Libbie Mill 

In 1800, a blacksmith named Gabriel, enslaved by the Prosser family of Brookfield in Henrico County, was inspired by the Haitian Revolution to organize a widespread revolt, known today as Gabriel's Rebellion. Join us for a visit from Gabriel Prosser (Mr. Willie H. Wright, III, Actor Interpreter from the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation) to experience this important piece of American history brought to life.

Motherland: Legends & Tales of Africa

Saturday, June 11, 11AM-12PM at Libbie Mill Library

Saturday, June 11, 2-3PM at Varina Library

Africa has unique and diverse mythology, legends, and folktales inspired by the sea. Hear the stories and elements that are shared between cultures and that are still being told in today's pop culture through movies and television during this presentation by Wisteria Perry of the Mariners' Museum in Newport News, VA.

Listening to History: Andrew Kahrl & “The Land Was Ours: How Black Beaches Became White Wealth in the Coastal South

Wednesday, June 15, 6:30-7:30PM at Libbie Mill Library

Learn about the social, economic, and environmental consequences of campaigns to dispossess African American landowners and beachgoers of coastal real estate. Author and scholar Andrew Kahrl will share his research into this history and its broader implications for unsustainable development and displacing Black communities along the southern seaboard. Dr. Kahrl teaches at the University of Virginia's Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies, serves as co-Principal Investigator for a National Park Service study of African American outdoor recreation, and is the co-director of The Repair Lab: Racial Justice and Environmental Policy Initiative.

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