New local exhibit focuses on success of freed Virginia slaves

By  | 

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- A new interactive addition to a permanent exhibit at the Jefferson School African-American Heritage Center takes a look at the lives of former slaves after liberation day.

Pride Overcomes Prejudice covers the lives of 1,500 out of the nearly 14,000 African-Americans who lived in Albemarle County at the time of their liberation, which occurred on March 3, 1865.

The county was one of the richest slaveholding communities in Virginia at that time.

The exhibit tells the story of how formerly enslaved people used their skills learned in slavery to build vibrant and self-sustaining communities.

Dr. Andrea Douglas is Executive Director of the Jefferson School African-American Heritage Center.

"There was a very interesting specialization to the work, which then allows us to move from enslavement into the Reconstruction period and these people are then able to build very strong both rural and urban communities within thirty years after the end of enslavement," she said.

Pride Overcomes Prejudice is open Tuesday through Saturday at the Jefferson School African-American Heritage Center on Fourth Street NW in Charlottesville.