DANVILLE, Va. – Organizations took a moment to recognize the contributions Black Americans have made in American history.
Danville kicked off Black History Month by taking residents on a trolley tour of historic sites in the city.
“Learning about a slice of life that a lot of us have never experienced who grew up since these things have happened,” said Dwight Rudd, who took the trolley ride.
The tour started at the Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History with about a dozen individuals looking at items from Camilla Williams, who was an opera singer from the River City who became a national treasure.
“I really enjoyed it, it was educational to me,” said John Pointer, who attended the tour.
In addition, tour guide Karice Luck Brimmer showed the group several landmarks in the city.
“We have 22 markers in the city, nine of those markers represent African American history and culture,” Luck-Brimmer said.
One that holds a significant part of American history is a marker near Danville City Hall that highlights Bloody Monday. The name depicts a civil rights movement in which African American ministers fought for equal rights.
During the demonstration, on June 10, 1963, police clubbed and hosed marchers, injuring nearly 4 dozen and arresting 60.
The following month, Dr. King heard of what happened in Danville and offered his support for the ministers. He led a nonviolent march in the streets in July, which later gained national coverage before the March on Washington in August.
“When you finally do hear about these things that only happened here that you thought only happened in the deep South, it is kind of overwhelming,” Luck-Brimmer said.
People who attended the tour hope the history is never forgotten.
“It brought back memories of when I was a student as well as talk to our grandparents of places that we had heard of and familiarize and made us appreciate more,” Delores F. Crews said.