The conventional history of Longwood has chiefly been a narrative that has not fully acknowledged the experiences of Black and African-Americans on campus.
That silence has not only left unrecognized the many contributions people of color have made to Longwood, it also limits how welcome students, faculty, staff, alumni, and visitors may feel in our community.
Silence regarding the experiences of Black and African-Americans also makes them less visible as full members of society, consequences of which include institutional violence and systematic oppression.
One of the purposes of the Bicentennial Initiative is to bring to light the experiences of Black and African-Americans in the Longwood community. To acknowledge their accomplishments, their contributions. To enrich the historical record, to expand belonging on campus. To help end the legacy of erasure.
The moment now reminds us that history is a spacious field. As old narratives are toppled from their pedestals, the Bicentennial Initiative is ready to replace them with a diversity of new ones.
We are grateful for your support, and we welcome your help.
The Bicentennial Initiative is a multi-year endeavor to reckon honestly with the consequential history of our campus community.
Looking ahead to Longwood’s 200th anniversary in 2039, this project will explore and interpret Longwood’s institutional history. Considering our community’s civil rights history, a natural area of focus will be on better understanding the roles of African-Americans here through time.
The goal will be to conduct research, provide interpretation and context to campus physical spaces, disseminate findings and engage students through projects such as digital mapping, oral history and archival studies.
June 30, 2020
In our community here and across the nation, there is a moment of reckoning and commitment that the names of our buildings fully reflect the values of our institution, and of the people who live, learn and work in them every day.
February 06, 2020
Longwood University will undertake a multiyear project to study its own institutional history, including the role of African-Americans on campus, President W. Taylor Reveley IV announced today.