These stories tell me who I am

by Cory Schutter

Cory Schutter is a Class of 2019 graduate from Midlothian, Virginia. He double majored in Rhetoric and Communication Studies and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies (WGSS). He was a Bonner Scholar, a Center for Civic Engagement Ambassador, and a Student Coordinator at UR Downtown. He began his involvement with the Race & Racism Project in the summer of 2017, as an A&S Summer Fellow, then joined the team again via Digital Memory & the Archive, a course offered in Fall 2017. The post below is the written text of Cory’s speech at the 2018-2019 Lavender Graduation, sponsored by the Office of Alumni and Career Services, LGBTQ Spiders Alumni Group, and the Office of Common Ground. The event took place on April 11, 2019. 

2019 Lavender Graduation, with Cory Schutter in the center.

On a crisp October day 42 years ago, Anita Bryant came to the Robins Center to perform a “concert of sacred music.” The program was sponsored by the Richmond Area Baptist Associations, and did not claim a connection to any campus ministries. In protest, Richmond Citizens for Gay and Lesbian Rights organized a corresponding rally at Monroe Park, to educate and support L and G Richmonders. And a UR alum challenged her, wearing a “gay and proud” tshirt.

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This Week in the Archive: That’s What You Think

by Destiny Riley

Destiny Riley is a Class of 2019 graduate from Maumelle, Arkansas, majoring in Rhetoric & Communication Studies and double minoring in Sociology and American Studies. Destiny first contributed to the Race & Racism at UR Project during an independent study course in the Spring of 2017, and then joined the team again via Digital Memory & the Archive, a course offered in Fall 2017. This post was written as part of a Spring 2019 independent study with the Race & Racism Project.

From the late 1980s to the late 2000s, the Collegian published a feature series titled “That’s What You Think.” The series, consisting of the responses from five people to a posed question also included a picture of each respondent most of the time. The respondents ranged from students to professors. While many of the questions prompted lighthearted responses, such as ones discussing Vanilla Ice, others prompted much more complex, and often problematic, responses. These features provided insight into people’s thinking throughout various years and decades. Not only did the features shed light on the University community’s critiques of the University, but also illuminated people’s problematic views on topics such as homosexuality and gender stereotypes. One of the articles that caught my attention in this series posed the following question: What do you think about race relations at UR?

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Enduring Value

by Cory Schutter

Cory Schutter is a Class of 2019 graduate from Midlothian, Virginia. He double majored in Rhetoric and Communication Studies and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies (WGSS). He was a Bonner Scholar, a Center for Civic Engagement Ambassador, and a Student Coordinator at UR Downtown. He began his involvement with the Race & Racism Project in the summer of 2017, as an A&S Summer Fellow, then joined the team again via Digital Memory & the Archive, a course offered in Fall 2017. This post was written as part of a Spring 2019 independent study with the Race & Racism Project.

I spent the summer of 2017 as a fellow for the Race & Racism at the University of Richmond Project x UntoldRVA collaboration, an experience which shifted the way I viewed the impact of an archive on a community. Summer fellows had the opportunity to perform close-reads of local Richmond stories and trace these accounts back to materials from the public archive.

At the end of the summer, project alum Catherine Franceski and I found ourselves next to a whirring microfilm machine at the Library of Virginia. A footnote in James Sidbury’s book Ploughshares into Swords had us questioning some assumptions we had made about a late eighteenth century Black dentist named Peter Hawkins.

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Creating Our Own

by Destiny Riley

Destiny Riley is a Class of 2019 graduate from Maumelle, Arkansas, majoring in Rhetoric & Communication Studies and double minoring in Sociology and American Studies. Destiny first contributed to the Race & Racism at UR Project during an independent study course in the Spring of 2017, and then joined the team again via Digital Memory & the Archive, a course offered in Fall 2017. This post was written as part of a Spring 2019 independent study with the Race & Racism Project.

https://memory.richmond.edu/files/original/1519467634636ac44938c799563c22b7.JPGSince the spring semester of 2017, I have continued to gain experience working with archival material, thanks to the Race & Racism at the University of Richmond Project. Throughout my time working in the archives, the silencing and marginalization of Black people has become more and more apparent to me. Last year, my research group created an exhibit titled “Resistance and Compliance” for the Project’s website in which we explored the controversy around the University’s compliance with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the efforts it made to progress in terms of integration. During my research, I found a Collegian article titled “Black and White.” In this article, the author discussed the University’s path to integration, claiming that many current students were in favor of integration. The reason was that they felt they deserved to get a chance to experience the “educated Negro,” rather than the negative depiction of Black people they saw in the media. While it may seem as if white students wished for inclusivity, their reasons for wanting Black students at the University were extremely selfish and blatantly problematic. There are countless articles and documents with this same racist, condescending tone–and much worse–throughout the archives. However, when we discuss documents such as this one, we feel the need to discuss it with a neutral tone, though the tone of these documents are far from neutral.

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