Virginia Desegregation project kicks off

Posted at 6:02 PM, Mar 14, 2012
and last updated 2012-03-14 18:06:20-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) - From Oliver Hill to thousands of African-American boys and girls. The desegregation of Virginia schools changed the lives of thousands of people. Now, several groups are looking to tell that story.

At a news conference at the State Capitol Wednesday morning, members of AARP Virginia, the Virginia Conference of the NAACP and the group D.O.V.E., or Desegregation of Virginia Schools, announced a new project. They are working to find people who were personally affected by desegregation. They want to catalog and preserve their stories.

"Lets go out into the community and lets get the history as told by the people who know the history. That's the key here," says Andrew Heidelberg, a member of "The Norfolk 17" who attended the news conference. Heidelberg was just 14-years-old in 1959 when he was one of 17 African-American students selected to attend all-white schools.

The new desegregation project also includes a traveling exhibit, so you can learn about Virginia's desegregation as the information is collected.