The Watershed Project
One aspect of the Watershed Project’s mission is to restore to civic memory the stories of people who otherwise could be lost and to telling honest stories Southwest Virginia. This work to tell a deeper story requires an honesty about slavery in Southwest Virginia and at Emory & Henry College.
During the spring semester of 2023, students in one Civic Innovation course and working through the Appalachian Center for Civic Life, combed through the college’s earliest account books to document the presence of persons who labored at Emory & Henry under slavery.
A Remembranceis a preliminary memorial to those persons. This is the first memorial of its kind ever undertaken at Emory & Henry College or by students at Emory & Henry.
You may view this preliminary memorial through the Watershed Project.
Searching through account books, deciphering 19th-century handwriting, reading around smudges and faded ink, discussing and thinking deeply about what they were finding, the documentation effort for A Remembrance was transformative for students doing the work.
Roxy Todd of WVTF Radio, a public radio station serving Southwest Virginia, interviewed four students who were part of this project about the ways their work changed them.
To hear the broadcast and read more about the students involved in this documentation effort: A Remembrance