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Week 6: Is it already the sixth week? I’ve lost track of time…

Apr 27, 2021

Hi everybody!

Has it already been this long? Each week seems to flash by in seconds.

I’ve spent a lot of this week doing a lot of historical research about the Reconstruction, but specifically about education in Virginia during the Reconstruction. I assume many of you will not be too familiar with this history so I will give you a little crash course:)

The books referenced are the following: Schooling the Freed People by Ronald E. Butchart, Black Reconstruction in America by W.E.B. Du Bois, and Before Jim Crow: The Politics of Race in Postemancipation Virginia by Jane Dailey.

Education for Blacks was always discouraged. It also didn’t help that they were given the same resources as whites because of segregation. However, in Virginia specifically, lawmakers came together and came to a conclusion that was The Underwood Constitution, named after Radical Republican John C. Underwood. This constitution would call for several things: a more democratic model of the local government, a statewide system of free public schools for all children, the right for the governor to veto bills that the assembly passed, and the right to vote for “Every male citizen of the United States, twenty-one years old,” except some supporters of the Confederacy. However, many of the white voters were afraid of the integration of Black and white children and the ability for Black men to vote so the bill was eventually replaced with another.

As a result, education for Blacks was put back in the same situation it was before the Reconstruction: on its own. However, the new freedom for Blacks sparked a revolution of the desire to learn. Many communities formed schools of their own for their children, much like how Alfred Odrick did for his kids and surrounding families. Even before he built his permanent home, he built the Odrick’s School.

Crash course, finished. Audience, learned.

Moving on, I’ve finished 90% of the script! Hopefully after I send it off for some editing, I can begin the fun part:)

Oh! And another update, I finally got into contact with the Shiloh Baptist Church (who coincidentally I was talking with the Pastor’s wife). She’ll be introducing me to a direct descendant of Alfred Odrick and another member of the Church who is extremely well-versed in the history of the Church and the community.

That is all for this week, and I hope to write to you all soon!!

Best,

Annie

2 Replies to “Week 6: Is it already the sixth week? I’ve lost track of time…”

  1. Maria T. says:

    This is a really cool project!

  2. Jacob J. says:

    Annie, I can’t wait to hear the script at your final presentation! Maybe you should send your finished product to the Odrick’s Corner Community as well.

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