Loudoun County residents can learn more about “The History of the Loudoun County Courthouse and the African American Community's Pathway to Freedom” at two upcoming events co-hosted by Loudoun County Public Library and the Loudoun County Heritage Commission.
Robert Pollard and Donna Bohanon of the Heritage Commission will discuss the pivotal role of the courthouse in the “Path to Freedom” of Loudoun's African American community.
The discussions are open to the public free of charge, and will take place at two locations
- Thursday, November 21, 6:30 p.m., in the Old Courthouse, 18 East Market Street in Leesburg (Note change of location.) The Clerk of Circuit Court Historic Records office will be open from 4:30 p.m. until 6:15 p.m., November 21, so that anyone attending the presentation may observe records related to the Old Courthouse prior to the discussion.
- Monday, November 25, 6:30 p.m., at the Cascades Library, 21030 Whitfield Place, Potomac Falls
Pollard and Bohanon will discuss key findings of the Heritage Commission’s recent historical study, from the era of enslavement from colonial times to emancipation; from the Civil War to Reconstruction and from Jim Crow to the emergence of the civil rights movement.
In September 2017, the Board of Supervisors directed the Heritage Commission to review the “full historic significance” of the courthouse grounds and its statues.
Members of the Heritage Commission subcommittee who worked on the project met 20 times over a 16-month period. They worked with experts and members of the community who provided insight and technical assistance, including the Black History Committee of the Friends of the Thomas Balch Library, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Douglass Alumni, Carver Alumni, and the Loudoun Freedom Center. They also invited experts to conduct a peer review of the historical narrative.
Copies of the commission’s report will be available at the November 21 and 25 events.
The Heritage Commission is one of dozens of advisory bodies whose members are appointed by the Board of Supervisors. The Heritage Commission advises the Board on issues regarding the county’s heritage resources and the implementation of the Countywide Heritage Preservation Plan. The Heritage Commission supports and encourages the identification, documentation, protection and preservation of the county’s natural and cultural heritage.
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