In 2019, Virginia joined just three other states in making Juneteenth a paid state holiday, recognizing it as a holiday for all Virginians. Historian Lauranett Lee says in this country we have parallel histories, with Black and white Americans knowing about and acknowledging different pasts. But community efforts and local activists are elevating the stories of African Americans so that those parallel histories are brought together. One of those local historians is Wilma Jones, who grew up in the mostly Black community of Halls Hill in Arlington, Virginia. Now the neighborhood is rapidly gentrifying and Black families like hers have been pushed out. Today, Jones says it’s too late to save Grandma’s house, but it’s not too late to save her history.
Later in the show: Much has been said about the golden age of gospel in the 1940s and 50s. But what about the gospel music that came later when hip-hop and soul were dominant? Claudrena Harold’s (University of Virginia) new book, When Sunday Comes, takes us to the Black record shops, churches, and businesses that transformed gospel after the Civil Rights era and nurtured the music that was an essential cultural and political expression for African Americans.
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