Nine months before Rosa Parks made history, a fifteen-year-old girl was arrested for refusing to move to the back of a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Claudette Colvin was well aware of the convoluted rules about where blacks could sit on the city buses, but on this day she decided not to obey the bus driver’s command to give up her seat. She was arrested and eventually convicted of assault and violating the segregation law.
Deemed too emotional to become the public face of the civil rights cause, Colvin has been a footnote to history for the last fifty years. But that has changed with the publication of Philip Hoose’s “Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice,” winner of this year’s National Book Award for Young People’s Literature.
This is an oral history interview with Johnny P. Johnson, Fredericksburg artist, teacher, civil rights activist, on July 1 and August 14, 1997, at his art studio at 1311 Charles St., Fredericksburg. This interview was suggested, in part, by Mr. Johnson's personal and yet objective picture of the civil rights movement in Fredericksburg as related during a 1997 Black History Month program.
Johnny Johnson, Part I
By Janet Payne
Janet Payne is the retired fine arts coordinator of the Stafford (VA) County Public Schools.
This article originally appeared in the International Review of African American Art, volume 16, number 1, and is reproduced here with the permission of this publication.
(This brochure was originally printed in the fall of 2002.)
Africans first arrived in the Virginia colony in 1619 as indentured servants. In the late 1600s slaves were brought into the sparsely settled Rappahannock Valley, primarily to serve as agricultural laborers.
On October 18, 2009, Little Mine Road Baptist Church will be marking its 150th anniversary. Founded just before the Civil War, the congregation first met in a tent. According to an article in the Free Lance-Star, the members weren't able to buy the land to build their permanent sanctuary until 18 years later in 1877, and the current structure was built in 1974. A series of special worship services October 18 through 20th will celebrate the church's long history.
October 2009 marks the 150th anniversary of John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry.
Born in 1800 to an abolitionist couple, John Brown was raised to believe that slavery was a sin and an insult to God. These beliefs influenced his actions throughout his life.
By Ruth Fitzgerald*
Blacks first inhabited Virginia in 1619. They came to the sparsely settled Rappahannock Valley long before Fredericksburg was officially founded in 1728.
In colonial times, Fredericksburg and Falmouth, across the Rappahannock River in Stafford County, were important centers of trade. The towns were considered the gateway to the mountains and the way west, and they also served as major seaports.
By the Spotsylvania Department of Tourism
From The Start ...
Blacks first arrived in isolated and sparsely populated Spotsylvania County along with white settlers in the early 1700's. Through the years before the Civil War, as slaves and occasionally as free men and women, they were an important force in area development. Occupations included labor as farm and plantation workers, as domestic servants, and as artisans, such as blacksmiths, carpenters, coopers, and fine needleworkers. They also worked in the iron industries, mining, construction, shipping on the Rappahannock River, and in their own businesses.
By the first half of the 19th century, Spotsylvania County's population reached about 11,000, over half of whom were black.
Alex Haley's award winning novel, Roots, cast his African ancestor, Kunta Kinte, as a slave of a Spotsylvania family.
From the Central Rappahannock Regional Library
- Black Businesses and Services, Rappahannock Area compiled by Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Xi Upsilon Omega chapter.
- Copyright 1997.
This directory was printed in the main body of The Free Lance newspaper.
The Free Lance.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 1885.
[Entered at the Post-Office at Fredericksburg, Va., as second-class matter.]
Our Business Directory is as complete as we can make it for the present. It shows the organization of the city, the courts, the churches partially, the several societies, together with the date of their meetings, and also our active business men, individually, as firms.