Visiting Professor LaShawn D. Harris will be hosting an upcoming talk on January 25th at 3:30 pm in the Old Horticulture Conference Room (located on the second floor).
This engaging talk is titled “The Commonwealth of Virginia vs. Virginia Christian: Southern Black Women, Crime & Punishment in Progressive Era Virginia”.
In 1912, sixteen year-old Hampton, Virginia resident and laundress Virginia Christian killed her white employer: fifty-one year-old widow Ida Belote. Contributing to the expanding historical scholarship on African American female criminality, this study employs Virginia Christian’s life as a window into the lived experiences of some southern working-class African American women during the Nadir.
It interrogates Christian’s experiences as a household laborer, her murder trial and execution, and her use of lethal violence as a survival and resistance strategy against white aggression and brutality. Furthermore, this paper investigates a diverse yet significant group of African American and white Progressive era political activists’ efforts to save Christian from capital punishment.
For more information, a PDF of the flyer is located at the end of this post. It sounds like it is going to be a great talk by LaShawn and we hope to see you there!