Alexandria Community Remembrance Project: Public Programs

The National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama includes over 800 steel monuments, one for each county in the United States where a racial terror lynching took place. Their Community Remembrance Project invites jurisdictions to claim and install a copy of their monument. The City of Alexandria is committed to claiming Alexandria’s monument in partnership with EJI.

Page updated on Jan 13, 2022 at 1:56 PM

Alexandria Community Remembrance Project: 
Public Programs

The Alexandria Community Remembrance Project (ACRP) is a city-wide initiative dedicated to helping Alexandria understand its history of racial terror hate crimes and to work toward creating a welcoming community bound by equity and inclusion.

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Read the Alexandria Community Remembrance Project Newsletter

Learn about the ACRP

Learn about Programs and meetings:


What is The Community Remembrance Project?

The National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama includes over 800 steel monuments, one for each county in the United States where a racial terror lynching took place. Their Community Remembrance Project invites jurisdictions to claim and install a copy of their monument. The City of Alexandria is committed to claiming Alexandria’s monument in partnership with EJI.

Learn More


A White Historian Explores “Race Riots” 

A Free Virtual Lecture
February 12, 2002, 11 a.m.

Register in advance for this webinar.

Violent clashes between large crowds of different races have disturbed the social order in the United States since long before the Civil War, and the phrase “race riot” has been used to describe such disparate events as the Tulsa massacre of 1921, the 1968 uprisings following the assassination of Martin Luther King, and the anti-Chinese riots of the 1870s. Susan Strasser investigates the term, and a history of racially charged violence that has framed American discussions of race throughout the nation’s history.


Tour d'Alexandria Bike Ride Seeks Volunteers

We are excited to announce that the Tour d’ Alexandria will be returning for a Spring ride in April 2022! The theme for this ride is “resilience” and will feature points of interest that reflect the resilience of Alexandria communities past and present, the growth of diverse neighborhoods, and to include the commemoration of the lynching of Joseph McCoy. 

Over the years, this ride has garnered greater and greater interest, with our 2019 event being our most successful, with over 60 riders participating and exploring the 225-year history of Alexandria Library, City of Alexandria and the 1939 Library sit-in. However, these rides are not possible without the support of volunteers. The are many opportunities to assist including rider support, rider check-in, and food set up.  

Please contact Brack Stovall at bstovall@alexlibraryva.org or Genelle Schuler at gschuler@alexlibraryva.org if you are interested in helping out with this signature event.


Past Programs

These programs were sponsored by the Alexandria Community Remembrance Project. Videos of past programs are posted with permission from the speakers.


How the Monuments Came Down

A Virtual Film Screening and Discussion
Presented October 20, 2021

This event is a joint program of the Alexandria Community Remembrance Project and the Alexandria Historical Society

"How the Monuments Came Down,” produced by Field Studio in association with VPM, Virginia’s home for public media, is a timely and searing look at the history of white supremacy and Black resistance in Richmond. The feature-length film — brought to life by history-makers, descendants, scholars, and activists — reveals how monuments to Confederate leaders stood for more than a century, and why they fell. This virtual discussion was a live, public presentation on October 20, 2021. The panel includes public historian Lauranett Lee, Eugene Thompson, past member of the Alexandria Ad Hoc Advisory Committee on Confederate Memorials and Street Names, and the filmmakers Hannah Ayers and Lance Warren. At the time of this posting, the film can be viewed on PBS.


Panelists:

Hannah Ayers and Lance Warren are Emmy-winning married documentary filmmakers whose production company,  Field Studio, is based in Richmond, Virginia. They collaborated as Directors, Producers, and editors for How the Monuments Came Down. Ayers and Warren’s work also extends to other media where they continue to highlight African American history and the struggle for social justice.

Dr. Lauranett Lee is a public historian specializing in teaching, advocating, and collaborating with diverse community and academic audiences. She is a fulltime lecturer at the University of Richmond. Lee is the historian for Virginia Africana Associates and the former Curator of African American History at the Virginia Historical Society. She is the author of Making the American Dream Work: A Cultural History of African Americans in Hopewell, Virginia. Lee consults with museums, churches and community organizations and serves on several boards and commissions.

Eugene Thompson, a native Alexandrian, was the first Director of the Alexandria Black History Resource Center (now the Alexandria Black History Museum.) Mr. Thompson was also the Senior Curator at the African American Museum in Philadelphia and the Public Art Director for the city of Philadelphia. He received his BA in History from Marquette University and MS Ed. in Leadership in Museum Education from the Bank Street Graduate School of Education.


Benjamin Thomas Remembrance Event

In Memoriam 2021: Benjamin Thomas, August 8, 1899

The City of Alexandria is committed to the accurate dissemination of its history. The murder of Benjamin Thomas is recognized as a terrible chapter in Alexandria’s past. A remembrance program, wreath-laying and marker unveiling was held on Market Square on August 8, 2021.

August 3, 2021: Historian LaNitra M. Berger explored how lynching photography and representations of lynching in American art provide historical information and context for racial violence in the United States. This was a free virtual program

Throughout the weekend of August 6–9, Alexandria City Hall, Carlyle House and the George Washington Masonic Memorial were  illuminated in purple, the color of mourning. This lighting is intended to demonstrate belated accountability for the incident, while showing honor and respect for Thomas.

August 8: a remembrance program, wreath-laying, and marker unveiling were held at Market Square and at the lynching site (near the corner of King and Fairfax Streets) as part of the  Alexandria Community Remembrance Project. Visitors could pay their respects by visiting the site and learning about the lynching. Thomas’ death was one of two documented lynchings in Alexandria. Between 1882 and 1968, 11 documented lynchings occurred in Northern Virginia and 100 occurred in the Commonwealth.


    Lynching Photography, Memory & Violence

    A Virtual Lecture by LaNitra M. Berger
    Presented on August 3, 2021

    La Nitra M. Berger, August 3, 2021 lectureLynching was an important method of enforcing white supremacy in America for more than a century. Through the constant threat of extreme racial violence, lynching served to control Black communities politically, socially, and culturally. This lecture will discuss how lynching photography and representations of lynching in American art provide historical information and context for racial violence in the United States. We will also discuss how lynching photography has shaped our understanding of depictions of racial violence in contemporary society.

    LaNitra M. Berger is an award-winning scholar, educator, and social justice advocate working towards making higher education accessible to low-income, first-generation, and minority students. Her scholarly interests are in art and social activism in the African and Jewish diasporas. For over 15 years, her work as an educator focuses on creating and expanding education abroad opportunities for underrepresented students, particularly in international education. LaNitra is the author of Exploring Education Abroad: A Guide for Racial and Ethnic Minority Participants (NAFSA, 2016) and the monograph, Irma Stern and the Racial Paradox of South African Modern Art: Audacities of Color (Bloomsbury, 2020). She is also the editor of Social Justice and International Education: Research, Practice, and Perspectives (NAFSA, 2020). LaNitra earned a BA in art and international relations from Stanford University and an MA and PhD in art history from Duke University.


    Community Remembrance Project Lecture Series

    Virtual programs presented March - June 2021 (free)

    Civil Rights March in Washington, DCJoin us for a series of four free lectures with historian Susan Strasser supporting the Alexandria Community Remembrance Project. Susan Strasser is an award-winning historian and a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians. She has been praised by the New Yorker for "retrieving what history discards: The taken-for-granted minutiae of everyday life." 

    Sponsored by the Alexandria Community Remembrance Project. Please note this events will not be recorded.  A reading list will be provided for each lecture.

    All lectures are on Saturdays at 1 p.m. and are FREE, but registration is required, at the individual Zoom links below. 

    • March 20   "A White Historian Confronts Slavery."  Reading list.
    • April 24   With Poet Marcia Cole, "A White Historian Confronts Lynching."  Reading List.
    • May 15   "A White Historian Explores Black Voting Rights." Reading List
    • June 12   "A White Historian Confronts Residential Segregation.”  Reading List.

    Lecture: Joshua Rothman--The Ledger and the Chain: How Domestic Slave Traders Shaped America

    Virtual program presented on May 11, 2021

    Historian Joshua D Rothman presents his new book, The Ledger and the Chain. Rothman recounts the shocking story of the domestic slave trade by tracing the lives and careers of Isaac Franklin, John Armfield, and Rice Ballard, who built the largest and most powerful slave-trading operation in American history. Donations to the  Freedom House Museum, once headquarters of Franklin & Armfield, are welcome. 


    Joseph McCoy Remembrance

    Remembrance April 23, 2021

    The City of Alexandria’s Community Remembrance Project invited Alexandrians to join in the  remembrance of Joseph McCoy, a black teenage resident who was killed by a lynch mob at the corner of Lee and Cameron Streets in 1897.

    Also view the   2020 In Memoriam page and read the   ACRP Newsletter, April 2021.


    Reparations at Virginia Theological Seminary

    Virtual lecture, presented on March 24, 2021.

    In September 2019, Virginia Theological Seminary announced the creation of a reparations endowment fund and the intent to research, uncover, and recognize African Americans who toiled under the oppression of VTS during slavery and throughout the Jim Crow era. Ebonee Davis, Associate for Multicultural Ministries Programming and Historical Research for Reparations with VTS, shares the research findings and implementation of VTS’ Reparations Program. Davis is a public historian with nearly 15 years experience working for local, state, and national institutions in the Americas and Africa. With VTS, she is coordinating the research efforts of the VTS’ Reparations Program and works directly with the program’s descendant families. This virtual event was sponsored by the Alexandria Historical Society, Alexandria Black History Museum, and the Alexandria Community Remembrance Project.


    Edward Ball, Life of a Klansman: A Family History in White Supremacy  

    Book Cover: Life of a KlansmanVirtual lecture presented on January 28, 2021

    For whites, to have a Klansman in the family tree is no rare thing. Demographic estimates suggest that fifty percent of whites in the United States have at least one ancestor who belonged to the Ku Klux Klan at some point in its history. Edward Ball, a descendant of a Klansman, tells the story of his ancestor. Ball’s great-great grandfather, Constant Lecorgne, had a career in white terror of notable and bloody completeness: massacres, night riding, masked marches, street rampages―all part of a tireless effort that he and other Klansmen made to restore white power when it was threatened by the emancipation of four million enslaved African Americans. To offer a non-white view of the Ku-klux, Ball includes the voices of descendants of African Americans who were once victimized by “our Klansman.”  


    The American L.O.W.S.

    The American LOWS film poster

    Virtual Film Screening and Panel Discussion presented on January 23, 2021

    The American L.O.W.S. (The American Legacy of White Supremacy), is a documentary created by Darnley R. Hodge, Jr. Immediately following the film screening was a panel discussion with filmmaker Darnley R. Hodge Jr. and historians from the film. The panel was moderated by Reverend Professor Quardricos Driskell. Mr. Driskell is pastor of historic Beulah Baptist Church in Alexandria, Virginia, an adjunct professor of Religion and Politics at the George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management, and a member of the Alexandria Community Remembrance Project Steering Committee. This film screening was sponsored by the Alexandria Community Remembrance Project, a city-wide initiative dedicated to helping Alexandria understand its history of racial terror hate crimes and to work toward creating a welcoming community bound by equity and inclusion.

    Panel Discussion

    This panel discussion with the filmmaker, Darnley R. Hodge Jr, and historians from the film occurred immediately following a virtual film screening through the Office of Historic Alexandria. The American LOWS (Legacy Of White Supremacy) is an interview-based documentary that examines the global system of white supremacy and the evolution of that system in America. The panel will be moderated by Reverend Professor Quadricos Driskell. Mr. Driskell is pastor of historic Beulah Baptist Church in Alexandria, Virginia, an adjunct professor of Religion and Politics at the George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management, and a member of the Alexandria Community Remembrance Project Steering Committee.

    The film can be purchased at TheAmericanLOWS.com. At the time of this film screening, The American L.O.W.S. was also available on Amazon.com.    


    A Conversation: Attorney Philip Hirschkop

    Virtual program presented on December 9, 2020 

    This conversation with Civil Rights Attorney Philip Hirschkop about the Loving Case and his groundbreaking legal career will inspire you. He is interviewed by Jean Kelleher, Director of the Office on Human Rights. Mr. Hirschkop also answers questions about his Supreme Court cases, his work on prison reform, and he remembers some of his past clients who have included Martin Luther King, Jr., H. Rap Brown, Norman Mailer and the America Nazi Party.

    This conversation is sponsored by the Alexandria Community Remembrance Project. It’s the first of a series of conversations we will host periodically with social justice leaders. The Alexandria Community Remembrance Project (ACRP) is a city-wide initiative dedicated to helping Alexandria understand its history of racial terror hate crimes and to work toward creating a welcoming community bound by equity and inclusion.

    Two oral history interviews were conducted with Mr. Hirschkop and transcripts are provided below.


    Community Meetings 

    Past Meetings

    January 15, 2020, 7:30 p.m., Beth El Hebrew Congregation (3830 Seminary Rd.)


    November 16, 2019
    , 1 to 3 p.m., Nannie J. Lee Recreation Center (1108 Jefferson St.)


    September 21, 2019,
    1 to 3 p.m., Charles Houston Recreation Center (901 Wythe St.)

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