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Highlighting some wonderful local history from my part of Virginia!Our office is closed for Juneteenth.

A couple of weeks ago, some of our staff attended the 160th anniversary of the Battle of Wilson's Wharf (a.k.a. Fort Pocahontas), just a few miles from our company's office. In that battle, an outnumbered force of "United States Colored Troops" defeated and humiliated a Rebel force led by Robert E. Lee's nephew. Some of the Black soldiers had joined the Union army just days or weeks before, having "self-emancipated" from local plantations, and they knew that they faced re-enslavement or worse if they were captured. The Confederates, unwilling to admit that they had been bested by the despised "slave race," told the newspapers wild stories about (nonexistent) massive forts and fleets of Union gunboats. After the war, locals and the state government let the site fall into disrepair, and it never received the commemoration that other battlefields did. Many people (including some of us!) who have lived here for decades had never heard of it.
This year the reenactment was attended by several descendants of Robert Walker Brown, a man who escaped a local plantation, joined the US Army, and fought for his freedom in the woods and swamps of Charles City.

This Juneteenth, it's worth asking what stories are remembered in your city and county...whose experiences are part of the "main story" and whose aren't.

Books for Juneteenth:
On Juneteenth, by Annette Gordon-Reed
Frederick Douglass, Prophet of Freedom, by David Blight

Books for younger kids:
Juneteenth for Mazie, by Floyd Cooper
They Built Me for Freedom: The Story of Juneteenth and Houston's Emancipation Park, by Tonya Duncan Ellis (Author) and Jenin Mohammed (Illustrator)
... See MoreSee Less

4 days ago

Highlighting some wonderful local history from my part of Virginia!
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