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Buried Truth

In my 13 years as a columnist, I have focused on untold stories of African-American heritage—fascinating stories of days of old, mostly in Culpeper County, which included the nature of tiny villages, post offices that no longer exist and the rhyme and reason of why all these things became a part of our collective history.

Last week we looked at the somewhat confusing information about a man named Willis Duvall, sometimes referred to as the Rev. Willis Duvall. The prevailing question is: Were they the same man or two related family members?

There are a couple of items to share with you this week: the recent resolution passed in the General Assembly and a search for African-American settlements and cemeteries in Orange County.

My column this week is dedicated to my friend and mentor Clara Ellis Bailey Payne. I find a vast emptiness in my life without being able to think about what she is doing or call and talk with her, but recalling a few of the more memorable moments between us has made me laugh and caused me to realize how fortunate I was to have been a part of her inner circle.

The Boy Scouts of America was founded in 1910, and guess what else was going on? America’s strident call for segregation upheld by Jim Crow laws. The BSA was no exception; however, this mentality of separation and exclusion would not remain an obstacle for the African-American communities across the nation.

On Sunday, Feb. 3, James Madison’s Montpelier is hosting the official opening and a special reception at the David M. Rubenstein Visitor Center for the exhibit “A Brief History of Black Horsemen in Racing.”

In a previous article, I touched on the family name of Brodus (sometimes spelled Broadus, Broddus or Broaddus). For now, I would like to focus on a particular member of that family, Daniel Brodus.

Everyone is invited to a special event Saturday, Nov. 17, at 2 p.m. at Culpeper Baptist Church. The music and remarks will fill you with a sense of unity and provide an opportunity to embrace those whose grief has been neglected.

The Orange County African-American Historical Society recognized five outstanding individuals this year for their extraordinary work in sharing and sustaining African-American history in Orange County. This week, we recognize Laura Russell Thompson.

On Oct. 20, the Orange County African-American Historical Society will be recognizing five individuals for their extraordinary work in sharing and sustaining African-American history in Orange County. In our third installment, we recognize Ruth Lewis Smith. 

On Oct. 20, the Orange County African-American Historical Society will be recognizing five individuals for their extraordinary work in sharing and sustaining African-American history in Orange County. This week, we recognize Edmond Harrison.

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