This Week in the Archive: Is this campus creating space for student activism?

by Sabrina Garcia

Sabrina Garcia is a junior from, Waldwick, New Jersey double majoring in Leadership Studies and English and minoring in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS). This is her first year working on the Race & Racism Project, on Team Archive. Sabrina is in the WILL* Program, works as a writing consultant, and is training to be a PSMA. She hopes to dedicate her career to social justice and believes in the mission of Race & Racism wholeheartedly.

On February 5, 1971, an article was published in The University of Richmond Collegian, titled “Recent Student Activism Cools as Puzzling Quiet Takes Hold.” This piece focuses on the ways in which Richmond students lost their drive and ambition to be persistent in their activism, as opposed to the flare of student activism that was seen the previous year in the wake of the Cambodian Crisis and the Kent State Shootings. There was student unrest throughout the United States during the year 1970, due to the involvement in the Vietnam War, and the Cambodian Crisis. This all led up to the violence seen at Kent State, as four students were killed during student protests by the Ohio State Guard. Students at the University of Richmond reacted to the national outrage, by organizing protests and rallies of their own, and voiced their dissent from President Nixon’s decision to continue bombing Cambodia.

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Tuckahoe Plantation; A Sight of Slavery, NOT Just Thomas Jefferson’s Childhood Home

by Sabrina Garcia

Sabrina Garcia is a junior from, Waldwick, New Jersey double majoring in Leadership Studies and English and minoring in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS). This is her first year working on the Race & Racism Project, on Team Archive. Sabrina is in the WILL* Program, works as a writing consultant, and is training to be a PSMA. She hopes to dedicate her career to social justice and believes in the mission of Race & Racism wholeheartedly.

Having never been to a plantation before, I was astounded by the eerie beauty of it all. Upon arriving to Tuckahoe Plantation, down a long never-ending dirt path, I was in awe of the luscious gardens and picturesque colonial home that stood in the center of the land. This plantation is well known as the childhood home of Thomas Jefferson and is now a popular venue for weddings and parties. An elderly women’s church group accompanied us upon our tour of the grounds, and I soon came to learn that many of the women were Westhampton College graduates. The tour guide was a beaming young woman who recounted tales of the war, detailing the story of owner Virginia Allen using her southern hospitality to charm a Union soldier into not burning down the plantation during the height of the Civil War. There was also a tale of a jealous suitor throwing a torch through a window, with a visible scorch mark on the floor as proof. I could not help but notice the reactions of our company, as the women were delighted to hear these small stories that brought back days they had only heard of.

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The Jefferson Davis Memorial Chapel

by Sabrina Garcia

Sabrina Garcia is a junior from, Waldwick, New Jersey double majoring in Leadership Studies and English and minoring in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS). This is her first year working on the Race & Racism Project, on Team Archive. Sabrina is in the WILL* Program, works as a writing consultant, and is training to be a PSMA. She hopes to dedicate her career to social justice and believes in the mission of Race & Racism wholeheartedly.

Walking into the West Hospital at the V.C.U. Medical Center, I could not help but wonder how I was going to find the Jefferson Davis Memorial Chapel, as there was no clear signage or indication that this hospital would have such a site. The only information I was able to find online was through a blog post on The Shockoe Examiner written by Selden Richardson. However, once I walked into the building, there was a plaque that stated that the Jefferson Davis Memorial Chapel was located on the 17th floor. Once in the elevator I noticed that there was no indication in the labels of where the monument was and, taking the plaque for truth, I clicked the button for the 17th floor. Upon arriving there is no guidance to where one should head, and after a bit of searching; behind a plain door with a small window, we (Nathan and Gabby, who are also on Team Archive) observed a long hallway leading to a dark room, with a marble archway labeled Jefferson Davis Memorial Chapel.

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Commemorative Justice is the Key to Honoring the Past, and Moving Forward

by Sabrina Garcia

Sabrina Garcia is a junior from, Waldwick, New Jersey double majoring in Leadership Studies and English and minoring in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS). This is her first year working on the Race & Racism Project, on Team Archive. Sabrina is in the WILL* Program, works as a writing consultant, and is training to be a PSMA. She hopes to dedicate her career to social justice and believes in the mission of Race & Racism wholeheartedly.

Learning about archival methodologies may sound lackluster, however what one can do with archival methodologies is imperative to recovering the histories of marginalized people. Being taught the process of metadata entry was important to understanding the techniques of archiving, however when combined with the impactful concepts and principles that were presented to me through lectures by Dr. Andrea Simpson, Sojourna Cunningham, and Free Egunfemi, the techniques became all the more powerful. These women presented methods and modes of approaching research that works against the natural modes of archiving, and each of them are using archiving to break down hierarchies of power in the academic institution and beyond.

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Where Is There Space for Me?

by Sabrina Garcia

Sabrina Garcia is a junior from, Waldwick, New Jersey double majoring in Leadership Studies and English and minoring in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS). This is her first year working on the Race & Racism Project, on Team Archive. Sabrina is in the WILL* Program, works as a writing consultant, and is training to be a PSMA. She hopes to dedicate her career to social justice and believes in the mission of Race & Racism wholeheartedly.

In making a decision on which university to attend, whether or not that school had inclusive policies or any initiatives to improve inclusion on campus for minority students was not something that I considered. I knew very little about the University of Richmond as an institution and simply chose this school because of its ranking and the amount of aid that was offered. Through my classes—I’m an English and Leadership double major and a Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies minor–I quickly became exposed to the history of racial inequalities that still effects the city of Richmond and to how the University of Richmond continues to perpetuate white supremacy ideology by not confronting its past.

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