The Official Site of The Commonwealth of Virginia

Black History Month in Virginia

February is Black History Month. Learn more about Black history in Virginia, as well as ways to celebrate.

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Remember

Throughout the month of February, notable Black men and women of Virginia's history will be featured.

Photo Mary Bowser

Mary Richards Bowser

Featured Woman

Mary Bowser was born in Richmond as a slave of the Van Lew family. Elizabeth Van Lew paid for her education in the North and granted her freedom prior to the Civil War. Bowser returned to pose as a servant in the Confederate White House and assisted Van Lew's pro-union intelligence ring. Later she became a teacher for the Freedman's Bureau and a missionary to Liberia. Her biography and life are difficult to follow due to her use of several pseudonyms and at least two married names; details of her death are unknown.

Learn More about Mary Richards Bowser

Photo of Max Robinson Jr.

Max Robinson, Jr.

Featured Man

Born in Richmond and a graduate of its segregated Armstrong High, Max Robinson went on to pursue a career of firsts in broadcast media. Robinson's tenure as co-anchor of ABC World News Tonight with Peter Jennings and Frank Reynolds made him the first Black broadcast news network anchor in the United States. Early in his career, he worked at numerous Virginia media outlets; he began his career in radio WSSV-AM in Petersburg and later at WANT-AM in Richmond. WTOV-TV in Portsmouth hired Robinson for a news job in 1959, and his television career was launched. Robinson was a founder of the National Association of Black Journalists.

Learn More about Max Robinson Jr.

Learn

Check out the resources below to learn more on Black history in Virginia.

Attractions

Below is a brief featured list of Black history attractions that provide great resources for learning more about Black history in Virgnia.

Featured Attractions

More Attractions

Click below to view more Virginia Black history attractions.

View More Attractions

Celebrate

Celebrate Black History Month in Virginia by participating in a variety of events.

Virginia Black History Month Marker Contest

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Help Virginia tell a true and inclusive history of our Commonwealth.

Share the stories that matter to you, and your history. To participate in this contest, nominate a Virginia individual, event, or theme which relates to Black History and should be recognized with a historic marker.

Participate in the Contest

Find out more about the contest and participate!

Learn More

Everyday Virginians

A snapshot into the live of everyday Black Virginians or the past.

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