The ‘Other’ White Women Were Invented in 1691

On a recent field trip with my 8-year-old daughter to the Virginia State Capitol, I felt such joy watching her walk in the rain holding hands with her friends. As we visited the Virginia Civil Rights Memorial on the grounds and read about plans for the Women’s Monument, I felt hopeful.

But what about inside? All of the statues and tour narrative were about influential, elite white men. I couldn’t help but consider the metaphor in the midst of my frustration—want to learn about people of color and women during the last 400 years? Please step outside.

As I sat next to the giant bronze sculpture of Robert E. Lee in the Old Hall, standing in the spot where he accepted command of the Confederate forces, I kept waiting to hear something about Virginia’s African-American delegates after the Civil War.

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