Black History Book Collection to Debut at Montgomery Museum | Story


The Montgomery-Radford City-Floyd County branch of the NAACP organized the NRV Black History Collection of books and pamphlets, to make local African-American history more accessible to the community by providing resources to local museums. The public, students and community groups can research and discover local history through this robust collection.

On Thursday, August 11, from 5-7 p.m., the Montgomery Museum of Art and History will host an Open House as part of its Membership Mingle Summer. At 6 p.m., the MRF branch will officially present its Black History collection to the museum, including the newly created history booklets. The event will take place at the museum’s new location, 4 E. Main St. in Christiansburg.

“We are honored to partner with the Montgomery-Radford City-Floyd County branch of the NAACP to make African American history and culture more accessible to everyone in the New River Valley,” said Casey Jenkins, executive director of the Montgomery Museum.

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The collection consists of two parts: 25 books that tell the story of African Americans in the New River Valley and the greater Appalachian region, and eight booklets that focus more narrowly on the New River Valley and the lived experiences of African Americans. in Montgomery, Floyd, and Pulaski and Radford City counties. Topics covered include coal mining, local education, slavery and segregation, mass resistance and reconciliation within the region. In addition to the printed material, there will be QR codes to access the documented oral histories.

Two sets of the book collection were donated to the Montgomery Museum of Art & History. On the bookplate inside each book is a quote from Lonnie Bunch, founding director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture: “There is no force more powerful than a people steeped in his history. And there is no higher cause than to honor our struggle and our ancestry by remembering.

The collection was curated by the MRF Branch Education Committee in consultation with curators from local history museums and with professors of history and sociology from Virginia Tech and Radford University. This collection has come to life through the generous contributions of community members who have purchased and donated books from a designated book list. The generous support of these donors has also enabled the Education Committee to purchase and acquire rare works and to cover the printing and binding costs of certain booklets.

Branch President Deborah Travis said, “This project would not have been possible without the support of the community. We are excited to make these materials available in the museum and enjoy the value they will bring to our community. »

– Submitted by Casey Jenkins


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