Former WAHS Student Discusses Racism at Event in Library

Former WAHS student shares his experience

Sophie O'Donnell, Social Media Editor

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Former Western student Lorenzo Dickerson spoke in January on the history of racism in Albemarle County and the Charlottesville area.

Dickerson currently works for the Albemarle County School System. He discussed the struggles African-Americans faced to integrate and the decisions Albemarle County made to prevent integration. He also described important events from the 1950s and 60s such as Brown vs. Board of Education along with the emergence of private schools that many parents sent their children to in order to avoid integration.

A committee of county residents are working with Albemarle County Superintendent Matthew Haas to discuss renaming schools in the county that may reflect past racial tensions. This includes Cale Elementary, named after Paul H. Cale who served as superintendent of Albemarle County Public Schools during the time of integration, and worked to keep schools segregated. Along with renaming the schools, markers will be placed at each site where the first group of African-American students integrated. Twenty-six students integrated on September 3, 1963, at Albemarle High School, Stone-Robinson Elementary, and Greenwood School.                                        

Along with hosting speakers such as Dickerson, the library hopes to engage more students by offering a variety of events that will help them engage with the other students at WAHS. The library will also be home to Peer Tutoring this coming fall. With the library’s goal of becoming more user-friendly, librarian Melissa Techman aims to make the colored printer free for students.

Upcoming Events

Make a Print (March 14th) with artist Amos Paul Kennedy

March 21st: Crozet librarian and author of The Disasters Meagan England

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