Hearing on monument Nov. 17

Published 1:02 pm Thursday, November 3, 2016

A public hearing on a proposed “Virginia Emancipation Proclamation and Freedom Monument” will be held Nov. 17, 6-8 p.m., at the R.R. Moton Museum, 900 Griffin Blvd. in Farmville. It is one of a series of public hearings regarding the monument being held across the commonwealth.

The purpose of the hearings — called by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Commission Chair Jennifer L. McClellan — is to receive nominations of notable African-American Virginians “who have made significant contributions to the emancipation and freedom of formerly enslaved persons or their descendants,” according to a press release. Their names, images and brief biographical information will be engraved on the proposed monument.

Through a special 2012 appropriations act, the commission is instructed to construct the 12-foot monument, designed by Thomas Jay Warren, of Oregon, on Brown’s Island in Richmond. 

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The commission is requesting nominations from the public of male and female African American Virginians from the period before Emancipation through 1865, which includes the great African kingdoms and slavery through Emancipation, and the period during the struggle for Freedom (1866-1970), including Reconstruction, Black Codes, Jim Crow and the Civil Rights Movement.

All nominations must include the person’s name and date and place of birth, the geographical area of Virginia with which the nominee is associated, a brief description and supporting documentation of achievements and/or contributions to emancipation or freedom in Virginia or the nation, and the name and contact information of the person or group submitting the nomination.

Persons desiring to speak should register onsite. Speakers will be limited to three minutes. McClellan reserves the right to further limit comments. However, typed comments and documentation submitted to the committee may be as lengthy as the nominator deems necessary. Others who cannot attend a public hearing may submit nominations and documentation to Brenda Edwards at bedwards@dls.virginia.gov with “nomination” in the subject line. Anonymous or incomplete nomination forms will not be accepted.