In conjunction with the Museum’s current exhibit, Celebrating Community! The Legacy Museum’s First Ten Years, Dr. Lauranett Lee, guest curator for the exhibit gave three public lectures this spring. In each talk, Lee expanded upon contributions of Central Virginia African Americans to the American story that had been high lighted in previous Legacy exhibitions.
In March, Dr. Lee spoke about the life and work of Lynchburg educator and philanthropist Amelia Pride. In May her topic was the role of Virginia African Americans in the Civil War. Then, in a special July benefit program featuring The Soulsters from the Hills from Diamond Hill Baptist Church., Lee discussed early African American churches in the Lynchburg area. In recognition of its historic significance We Used to Have Church… was held at Court Street Baptist Church, the oldest Black church in Lynchburg. Music was also provided by museum intern Dominic Davis and his Liberty University friends.
The spirituals, Rev. Keith Anderson’s prayers, recollections of Mistress of Ceremonies Ramona Battle as well as Dr. Lee’s historic account all made clear the centrality of the church in the African American experience.