"In the Beginning, all America was Virginia."
William Byrd II
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Featured Promotion

Immerse yourself in Virginia's history by visiting one of our exhibitions.

 

The Story of Virginia

Determined: The 400-Year Struggle for Black Equality

Determined: The 400-Year Struggle for Black Equality

"We are determined to be people."

-Martin Luther King, Jr. from the speech, I've Been to the Mountaintop, delivered on April 3, 1968 at Mason Temple, Memphis, Tennessee

In commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first Africans in British North America, Determined: The 400-Year Struggle for Black Equality will examine the long history of African Americans as they have fought for freedom, equal justice, and recognition of their humanity. Their actions have pushed our nation ever closer to its ideal of universal equality. 

This powerful exhibition will present more than 100 evocative objects, along with multi-media interpretive content. Displays will encourage guests to engage meaningfully with history, gain a greater appreciation for the profound impact African Americans have had on our commonwealth and country, and find connections between past events and their current lives. 


Four Centuries of Determination

Determined examines the ways in which the arrival of enslaved Africans in 1619 shaped the United States that we know today. The exhibition is arranged in chronological sections: The Colonial Period; American Revolution through the Civil War; Reconstruction through World War II; and the Civil Rights Movement through today. 

Historic African-American Figures

 


Connecting with Students, Teachers, and Families

Determined will be highlighted in a special family gallery guide, school tours, teacher resource packets, onsite and online teachers institutes, and other programming suitable for young people. There will also be a designated area for contemplation, study, and conversation. 


Advisory Committee

The committee consists of 12 scholars, museum professionals, and civic leaders who bring a diverse range of expertise on African American and Virginia history to the project. Learn more about the committee.

Exhibition Information

From
Wed Jun 19 2019, 10:00amSun Mar 1 2020, 5:00pm
Open
10:00 am - 5:00 pm daily

Highlighted objects from Determined: The 400-Year Struggle for Black Equality

Tobacco label for “Daniel’s Best Tobacco at Milend” Enter Fullscreen More information
Tobacco label for “Daniel’s Best Tobacco at Milend”
A tobacco label for “Daniel’s Best Tobacco at Milend” from the late 17th-18th century (Woodcut) (VMHC 2002.533.3.A-B)
James Amistead Lafayette Enter Fullscreen More information
James Amistead Lafayette
James Amistead Lafayette (with 1784 testimonial of the Marquis de Lafayette), ca. 1824. (Engraving) (VMHC 1993.215)
Slave wrist shackles Enter Fullscreen More information
Slave wrist shackles
Slave wrist shackles from the 17th-18th century (Iron) (VMHC 1997.89)
Token for African Colonization Society Enter Fullscreen More information
Token for African Colonization Society
Token for African Colonization Society from 1833 (Copper) (VMHC 2000.64)
"Slave Auction, Virginia" by Lefevre Cranstone Enter Fullscreen More information
"Slave Auction, Virginia" by Lefevre Cranstone
"Slave Auction, Virginia" by Lefevre Cranstone, 1861 (Oil on canvas) (VMHC 1991.70)
"Slave Hunt" by Thomas Moran Enter Fullscreen More information
"Slave Hunt" by Thomas Moran
"Slave Hunt" by Thomas Moran, ca. 1864 (Oil on canvas) (VMHC 2000.161)
Hampton Normal Agricultural Institute Enter Fullscreen More information
Hampton Normal Agricultural Institute
Hampton Normal Agricultural Institute, late 19th century (Engraving) (VMHC 1997.190)
Enter Fullscreen More information
Helmet of the Colored Knights of Pythias
Helmet of the Colored Knights of Pythias, late 19th century (Pith, leather, horsehair, and other materials) (VMHC 2013.67.A-B)
U.S. Marines Uniform, 1940s Enter Fullscreen More information
U.S. Marines Uniform, 1940s
U.S. Marines Uniform, worn by Sgt. Dimmiline Booth, Jr., 1943-46 (Wool and other materials) (VMHC 2002.397.1.A-C)
Bust of Oliver W. Hill by Paul di Pasquale Enter Fullscreen More information
Bust of Oliver W. Hill by Paul di Pasquale
Bust of Oliver W. Hill by Paul di Pasquale, ca. 2001 (Bronze) (VMHC 2007.141)
“NAACP Freedom Day—Remember May 17th” Brochure Enter Fullscreen More information
“NAACP Freedom Day—Remember May 17th” Brochure
“NAACP Freedom Day—Remember May 17th” Brochure, 1954 (VMHC 2003.234.5)
Arthur Ashe's tennis racket Enter Fullscreen More information
Arthur Ashe's tennis racket
Head Company, Tennis Racket—used by Arthur Ashe (Fiberglass and other materials) (VMHC 2005.326.1)
L. Douglas Wilder's boots, embossed with Seal of Virginia Enter Fullscreen More information
L. Douglas Wilder's boots, embossed with Seal of Virginia
Lucchese, Boots, embossed with Seal of Virginia—worn by L. Douglas Wilder, early 1990s (Leather) (VMHC 2014.40.A-B)
Tobacco label for “Daniel’s Best Tobacco at Milend”
Tobacco label for “Daniel’s Best Tobacco a
James Amistead Lafayette
James Amistead Lafayette
Slave wrist shackles
Slave wrist shackles
Token for African Colonization Society
Token for African Colonization Society
"Slave Auction, Virginia" by Lefevre Cranstone
"Slave Auction, Virginia" by Lef
"Slave Hunt" by Thomas Moran
"Slave Hunt" by Thomas Moran
Hampton Normal Agricultural Institute
Hampton Normal Agricultural Institute
Helmet of the Colored Knights of Pythias
U.S. Marines Uniform, 1940s
U.S. Marines Uniform, 1940s
Bust of Oliver W. Hill by Paul di Pasquale
Bust of Oliver W. Hill by Paul di Pasquale
“NAACP Freedom Day—Remember May 17th” Brochure
“NAACP Freedom Day—Remember May 17th” Broc
Arthur Ashe's tennis racket
Arthur Ashe's tennis racket
L. Douglas Wilder's boots, embossed with Seal of Virginia
L.