Virginia

Hearts of Gold

Brought to us by Margaret Ecker and others involved in its 2013 production, this special collection of insights from several Student Health Coalition figureheads in the 1970s features Bill Dow, Bill Corr, Carolyn Burr, Dal Macon, and Marie Cirillo–among many more. Each of them reflects on the impetus behind the SHC’s work, its guiding principles, …

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First integrated band in St. Charles, VA: Smith Carson and the Black and White Melody Boys

Ron Carson shares about his grandfather’s, Smith Carson, first integrated band in the area: the Black and White Melody Boys. Their legacy throughout the South includes having played with Louis Armstrong and Elvis Presley.   Full footage of Ron Carson’s tour of the African American Cultural Center.

The renaming of “Negro Head Rock”

Ron Carson showcases an old check with an emblem of what used to be called “Negro Head Rock” and shares the story about his grandmother’s 1968 petition to have it renamed. It’s now known as Stoneface Rock. Interestingly, former Student Health Coalition participants active with the clinic in St. Charles, Virginia recall having referred to …

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Post-Reconstruction African American migration and the St. Charles coal camps

Ron Carson details post-Reconstruction African American migration trends from cotton fields to coal camps in St. Charles, Virginia (including migration years later in the mid-20th century to northern urban centers for manufacturing jobs) and the impact on resulting black diaspora in area.   Full footage of Ron Carson’s tour of the African American Cultural Center.

History of Rosenwald School in Pennington Gap, VA, 1930s-1960s

Ron Carson discusses the history of the Rosenwald School (or Pennington Gap Colored School, now the site of the African American Cultural Center) between the 1930s and 1960s, showcasing various school records and sharing stories about its day-to-day operations. More information about historical Rosenwald Schools in the southern United States can be found at the …

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Dr. Daniel Gabriel’s legacy in St. Charles, VA

Ron Carson discusses Dr. Daniel Gabriel, MD and his local legacy in African American healthcare as the only doctor who in the 1940s and 50s would see black patients.   Full footage of Ron Carson’s tour of the African American Cultural Center.

Post-Reconstruction African American land ownership in Pennington Gap, VA

Ron Carson shares about the origins of the building now home to the African American Cultural Center (formerly a Rosenwald School) in Pennington Gap, Virginia. His great-great-grandmother, Rachel Scott, owned the land upon which it was built–along with a significant amount of additional acreage in the area.   Full footage of Ron Carson’s tour of …

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Nancy Raybin

Nancy worked with SHC in the summers of 1973 and 1974 as a community organizer in St. Charles, Virginia and then as co-director of the Coalition in East Tennessee and western Virginia.  She was at that time an undergraduate student at Vanderbilt.  She was instrumental in getting the first community clinic off the ground in …

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J. Thomas “Tom” John

I am a bit late in getting my bio in, best done in the earlier stages of pending dotage. I am originally from Laurinburg, N.C., a small farming and, then, textile community in the eastern part of the state. I attended Laurinburg HS and at one time was junior Rotarian of the month. Then to …

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