Digital Dialogue: A look at Virginia’s past, present & future for Black History Month

Updated: Feb. 28, 2019 at 5:00 PM EST
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - NBC12 celebrated Black History Month on Thursday with a special Digital Dialogue looking at Virginia’s past, present and future.

Jasmine Turner and Eric Perry hosted the conversation, which included a look back at some of the stories we’ve featured this month.


Digital Dialogue: Black History Month

BLACK HISTORY MONTH: Join us as we look at Virginia’s past, what's happening now in the present and what the future holds >>

Posted by NBC12 on Thursday, February 28, 2019

During NBC12′s Digital Dialogues, you can join in and ask questions on the NBC12 Facebook page or observe the conversation on our news app or Roku and Amazon Fire channels.

A look back at our Black History Month stories:

Christal Blue at Elkhardt Thompson Middle School and her students decided to participate in a national social media trend, by decorating their classroom.

“Our goal was to really get the students involved and for them to take ownership,” Blue, an eighth grade social and economics teacher, said. “I wanted to do it for awhile and I said, ‘Oh, I have this cool poster board in front of my classroom.’”

The students decided to create a board outside of the classroom that not only highlights one African American figure, but multiple.

Records show, from 1930 to 1967, Anna B. Turner worked in Sussex County and traveled to at least four other counties and towns, helping families bring new life into the world.

“She was the midwife for the town, for the area,” explained Tawanna Green. “Because of her I am here.”

As we continue to celebrate Black History Month, we catch up with award-winning child activist Yewande Austin. She believes in order to achieve a brighter future, you must start with investing in kids today.

“I believe every child was born to be a leader, but depending on the environment in which they grow up, some just don’t recognize their leadership skills,” Austin said.

At the busy intersection of Bainbridge Street and W. Commerce Road lies the first and last black federal credit union in Richmond.

“It was started by 10 African-American teachers in 1936, and this was done in the middle of the great depression.” Randy Cooper, president of Richmond Heritage Federal Credit Union, said.

During that time African-Americans were not allowed in white-owned establishments, so 10 educators who graduated from Virginia Union University decided to create a bank for black educators.

As we talk about black history this month, it’s not just about the people who have achieved greatness, it’s also about the ones who keep track of that history, making sure people and moments aren’t forgotten.

Elvatrice Belsches, a Richmond-based researcher, has dedicated her life to documenting the lives of those who’ve come before her.

“All that I do I seek to honor the elders and inspire everyone with the stories. Some are tough, but some are incredible,” said Belsches. “A lot of my research spans the black experience in history, but I’m not limited to that so its history, Richmond VA and sometimes beyond."

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