- Michele Brown
The Library of Virginia, in partnership with Dominion, honors seven distinguished African American leaders annually by recognizing them as Strong Men & Women in Virginia History. According to the Library of Virginia, these individuals, past and present, are chosen based on their “contributions to the state, the nation, or their professions.”
“These men and women offer powerful examples of individuals who refused to be defined by their circumstances. Their biographies are a testament to the determination and perseverance displayed by extraordinary people during challenging times. These individuals demonstrate how African Americans have actively campaigned through education and advocacy for better lives for themselves, their people, and all Americans. It is these many contributions that the Strong Men & Women in Virginia History program seeks to recognize and share.”
The Central Rappahannock Regional Library will host the traveling exhibit for this year’s Strong Men & Women in Virginia History July 13-August 17 at the Headquarters Library in Fredericksburg. One of the honorees is William E. Bailey, an aviation pioneer and philanthropist, who has local family ties in our area. Visit the exhibit to learn more about Mr. Bailey and the other honorees, “remarkable men and women, all of whom have used their talents and creativity to push for equality and inclusion in American society.”
Want to read more about African Americans who lived in Virginia? Check our list, CRRL Virginiana: African American Life Stories, for biographical sketches that showcase people's determination and strength while living through difficult times.