This Week in the Archive: Robert Edge’s Plea

by Keith Oddo

Keith Oddo is a junior from Roanoke, Virginia, double majoring in Rhetoric and Communication Studies and History. He believes this project provided him with great research experience that will be valuable in his future academic work. This post was written as a part of Digital Memory & the Archive, a course offered in Fall 2017.

On February 11, 1966, Robert Edge wrote a personal letter in the University of Richmond’s campus newspaper The Collegian titled “RC Student Asks Classmates to Join Fight for Equality.” In his short letter, which made page two of the campus newspaper, Edge discussed the Richmond Human Relations Council Tutoring Program. In the mid 1960s, the United States was in the heart of the fight for racial equality, as black people were fighting relentlessly to have the same opportunities and fair treatment as white people across the country country. The struggle came with civil unrest. The Watts riots had just taken place in California where over 30,000 people were recorded participating in the riots and fighting with police, which left thirty-four people dead, 1,000 injured and 4,000 arrested. In the summer of 1966, which was only a few months after this article was published, the Hough riots (Cleveland), Hunter’s Point riot (San Francisco), and Division street riots (Chicago) all gained national attention (Mass).

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