Archived: Roanoke Black History Panel Discussion
The history of Roanoke's Black community is rich with tales of success and self-sufficiency - the education of its own educators, entrepreneurs, doctors and lawyers and one of the most vibrant Black business districts in the South. But it's also fraught with barriers and destruction, from the dark shadow of Jim Crow and efforts to codify Black and White neighborhoods to the physical leveling of vast swaths of Black neighborhoods during urban renewal and city leaders' stubborn refusal to integrate schools.
As the nation grips questions of social justice and racial equality and equity, we bring together numerous voices and perspectives to discuss Roanoke's Black history, how this city arrived at this moment, and where we might go next.
The panel discussion and Q&A kicks of a month-long exploration of Roanoke's Black history via a self-guided 5k tour of Roanoke's historic Gainsboro neighborhood, the hub of Roanoke's Black community and home to local and national civil rights pioneers and luminaries.