RICHMOND, Va. — Faithe Norrell is passionate about her work at the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia. Her foundation is rooted in education.
Norrell served as a longtime Richmond Public Schools teacher and librarian before accepting the role as the museum’s education and programming coordinator.
Her grandfather also taught in Richmond Schools for 66 years, and she wields her own life experiences to educate the younger generations.
“I grew up when Richmond schools were segregated. In fact, I was a part of the first class that desegregated what was then called Jeb Stewart Elementary School,” she said. “That puts it in perspective for kids, because then they realized that it wasn't that long ago when I tell them that my grandparents were born enslaved. That is baffling to them because that makes them think it's something that happened hundreds of years ago.”
Norrell ensures the guests at the Black History Museum on West Leigh Street know how Black History Month started.
Virginia-native Dr. Carter G. Woodson founded a history week before it was expanded for the entire month of February in 1926. He chose February because this month we celebrate the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.
She encourages families to take advantage of the resources available at the museum to learn more about Black history.
“We want to see them bring their children because these are stories that their children also need to really hear so that they can understand the pride that they should have within them,” Norrell stated. “Black history is America's history.”
Richmond’s Black History Museum boasts a full schedule of events for the month of February.
“We have a group of children coming from Jack and Jill Inc, the Richmond chapter. They are dressing as history makers, and they're going to be roaming the gallery telling our visitors stories of the person that they're dressed as,” Norrell explained.
The Henrico chapter of Delta Sigma Theta sororities will hold a Black facts competition at the museum for children, as well.
The Richmond museum is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. through 5 p.m.
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