Free Black People in Virginia Traveling Exhibition

Free Black People in Virginia Traveling Exhibition

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Script writing on a sepia page

Deed of emancipation for Lavinia Hargrave, Surry County, 1782.  VMHC Collection, Anonymous gift through the Virginia Genealogical Society (VMHC Collection, Mss3 Su788 b 22). Lavinia Hargrave’s deed of emancipation noted that “she was free borned” and “has attained lawful age.”  Some free Black Virginians were apprenticed to white people as small children and received their freedom when they reached a certain age.

Content: Exhibition currently in development

Size: Approximately 750 square feet

Loan Period: 6 weeks

Rental Fee: Coming Soon

Availability: Beginning June 2025

Free Black People in Virginia will explore the lives of free Black Virginians from the arrival of the first captive Africans in 1619 to the abolition of slavery in 1865. Through powerful objects and first-person accounts, visitors will discover how Virginia’s people of color achieved their freedom and persevered within a legal system that recognized them as free but not equal.

This traveling exhibition will consist of 12 double-sided retractable banner units. A version of the exhibition will also be available as free-standing double-sided panels.

Veronica Blanco, Exhibition Technician
To book this exhibition, please contact:

Veronica Blanco, Exhibit Technician

Email: vblanco@VirginiaHistory.org 
Phone: 804.342.9648
Mail: Virginia Museum of History & Culture, P.O. Box 7311, Richmond, Virginia 23221