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 home >> Civil Rights History Project >> Survey of Collections and Repositories >> Collections >> Collection Record

The Civil Rights History Project: Survey of Collections and Repositories

Voices of freedom collection

Repository: Virginia Commonwealth University. Special Collections and Archives

Collection Description (CRHP): The eleven oral histories are of Raymond H. Boone, founder, editor and publisher of the Richmond Free Press; Elizabeth Cooper and Jane Cooper Johnson, who discuss their roles in desegregating schools; Dr. Joyce E. Glaise, educator, community activist, former member of the Danville, Virginia City Council; Thomas S. Hardy -- a long time resident of Surry County, Virginia, shipyard worker, community activist, and Korean War veteran; Rev. Curtis W. Harris, of Hopewell, Virginia -- pastor, civil rights leader, politician, former president of the Virginia Chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference; Oliver W. Hill, Sr., Virginia's leading Civil Rights attorney in the 20th century; Henry L. Marsh III, civil rights attorney, state senator, first African American Mayor of Richmond; Dr. Milton Reid, retired minister, civil rights leader, chairman of the Board of the Virginia Unit of the SCLC; Dr. W. Ferguson Reid, surgeon, first African American elected to the Virginia General Assembly since Reconstruction; Dr. Laverne Byrd Smith, educator and civil rights activist; and John A. Stokes, of Lanham, Maryland, educator, retired principal, Baltimore City Public Schools, one of the leaders of the student strike at the R.R. Moton High School in Prince Edward County, Virginia in 1951.

Collection Description (Extant): Voices of Freedom was produced by the Virginia Civil Rights Movement Video Initiative, a non-profit organization incorporated in 2002 to produce videotaped oral histories of leaders of the Civil Rights movement in Virginia. While much has been written about the dramatic events which occurred in the deep South, the story of the Civil Rights movement in Virginia has largely gone untold. Voices of Freedom focuses on statewide activities from the 1950s through the early 1970s and includes stories about the "Jim Crow" segregation laws that prevailed up until the mid-1960s; stories about the struggles to change the laws and to change public attitudes; and advice from these civil rights veterans to future generations of Virginians/Americans . . . . Voices of Freedom is meant to educate people about our common history, to stimulate discussion on why and how this great social movement happened, to stimulate further research into the Virginia civil rights movement and further contact with its living leaders, to further consideration of the impact of the civil rights movement on our current 21st century society, and to inspire future generations to involve themselves in civic affairs and act with conscience and courage.

Origin Info: Richmond, Virginia. Ronald E. Carrington, President of Media Consultants Global, Inc. of Richmond, was the director-producer of the video taping and interviewed the interviewees. Historian Dr. Betsy Brinson conducted preliminary oral interviews. The Virginia Historical Society (VHS) hosted two days of taping. Dr. Lauranett L. Lee, curator of African American History at the VHS, served as a consultant to this project. Board of Directors, Voices of Freedom, Virginia Civil Rights Movement Video Initiative: Hon. Benjamin J. Lambert, III, President, Ben Ragsdale, Coordinator, Raymond H. Boone, Hon. Curtis W. Harris, Dr. Robert D. Holsworth, Curtis Lyons, Hon. Henry L. Marsh, III. Major supporters of Voices of Freedom: The Richard S. Reynolds Foundation, the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, Dominion Resources, Hunton and Williams, Ukrops Supermarkets, the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus, Virginia Commonwealth University, the Virginia Historical Society, and Mrs. Frances Lewis.

Access Copy Note: Researchers can access online eleven videotaped interviews (edited down to about 25 minutes) of leaders and activists in Virginia's Civil Rights movement. The complete transcripts of the entire interviews are also available online. The archive includes the same information--in addition to the transcripts, it only has the edited copies of the videotaped interviews.

Collection URL: External Link

Date(s): 2002-2003

Digital Status: Yes

Extent: 11 videocassettes; 11 RealMedia files; 11 transcripts; 11 photographs

Language: English

Related Archival Items: See the Virginia Black History Archives Collection, which consists of nearly 50 collections housed in Special Collections and Archives. An overview is available at:

Interviewees: Raymond H. Boone, Elizabeth Cooper, Jane Cooper Johnson, Joyce E. Glaise, Thomas S. Hardy, Rev. Curtis W. Harris, Oliver W. Hill, Sr., Henry L. Marsh III, Milton Reid, W. Ferguson Reid, Laverne Byrd Smith, John A. Stokes

Rights (Extant): As a general rule, you may print, reproduce and use the information from the VCU Libraries Website for non-commercial, personal or educational purposes. See the library's copyright web site for more info:


African American churches
African American lawyers
African American politicians--Virginia
African American press
African Americans--Civil rights--Virginia
African Americans--Southern States--Politics and government
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka
Civil rights demonstrations
Civil rights--Cases
Civil rights--Press coverage
King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968
School integration--Massive resistance movement
School integration--Virginia
Southern Christian Leadership Conference
Voter registration




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   September 26, 2018
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