Roanoke College Students Create Digital Archive Documenting the Area’s Civil Rights Era

Last semester students in an introduction to public history class at Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia, created a digital archive of newspaper and other clippings collected during the civil rights era by the Hill Street Baptist Church in Roanoke. The project documents efforts in the area to desegregate lunch counters. movie theaters, and public schools during the 1950s and 1960s.

Gregory Rosenthal, a Roanoke College assistant professor who spearheaded the project, said students spent several weekends working in the Raymond R. Wilkinson Memorial Library at Hill Street, coordinating with the church to carefully scan the articles, which were housed in a large scrapbook protected by a vacuum-sealed bag. The library’s namesake, Raymond R. Wilkinson, served as Hill Street’s pastor for 33 years and also was president of the Roanoke chapter of the NAACP from 1959 to 1969.

The digitized archive is now available to the public through an online database. The Roanoke College history class also created a timeline that highlights some of the major issues experienced by the Black community during segregation, such as the dump operated in Washington Park, which posed numerous health risks to the historically Black neighborhood.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Two Black Scholars Appointed to Faculty Positions

The new faculty are Esther Jones at Brown University and Dagmawi Woubshet at the University of Pennsylvania.

Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision is Established at Bowie State University

"The new program will help to increase the number of counselor educators within the counseling field and the number of competent Black counselor educators," says Dr. Otis Williams, chair of the Bowie State University department of counseling and psychological studies.

Elizabeth City State University Partners With the University of Tennessee Health Science Center to Increase Representation of Black Graduate...

"We are excited by this partnership with UT Health Science Center and the opportunities this brings to our students who wish to pursue advanced degrees," said Kuldeep Rawat, dean of the Elizabeth City State University School of Science, Health and Technology.

Kimberly White-Smith Honored for Outstanding Contributions to Teacher Education

“Through her leadership and scholarship, Dr. White-Smith inspires a new generation of teachers to serve students and approach their work with equity, compassion, and respect,” said Gail F. Baker, provost and senior vice president at the University of San Diego. 

Featured Jobs