Tonight’s session on the final chapters of Stamped from the Beginning will feature Vice Mayor Joe Cobb as our guest presenter.

Note that notes and videos from the sessions are posted here at our landing page. For convenience, they’re also shown below.


In collaboration with Roanoke Public Libraries builds, the Stamped from the Beginning book club builds around the Summer with the National Book Award event Indecent Histories, held on August 29th at the new Melrose Branch Library, featuring Dr. Ibram X. Kendi and Justin Phillip Read.


February 4 – Section 5: Angela Davis (Add the Facebook Event to your calendar)
Guest: Vice-Mayor Joe Cobb on the civil rights movement and today

February 11 – We take a break so that the group can attend the listening session of the Virginia African American History Education Commission at the Harrison Museum of African American Culture at 6 PM.

February 18 – Wrap-up conversation: Bring your strategies for being an anti-racist. Submit below your questions or conversation points you’d like to discuss.



January 7 – Section 1: Cotton Mather
Guest: Points of Diversity’s Katie Zawacki on learnings from Changing the Narrative.

Thirty readers joined the conversation on January 7. We heard the outcomes from Katie Zawacki on the community’s 2019 Changing the Narrative project funded by the Kellogg foundation through Virginia Humanities. Watch soon for a video of Katie’s presentation.  Additional resources mentioned in the meeting:


Photo taken with Focosimg_2064.jpeg

January 14 – Section 2: Thomas Jefferson
Guest: Sculptor and Author Lawrence Reid Bechtel on Thomas Jefferson and Isaac Granger

A group of 25 people discussed the contradictions and complexity of Enlightenment thinkers including Thomas Jefferson. Guest Larry Bechtel described his interest and process in exploring the life of Isaac Granger Washington, an enslaved man on the estate of Thomas Jefferson, imagined in his novel, A Partial Sun. Additional resources mentioned in the session:



January 21
– Section 3: William Lloyd Garrison (Add the FB Event to your calendar)
Guest: Virginia Tech’s Dennis Halpin on the legacy of the Civil War

Thirty readers discussed William Lloyd Garrison and the legacy of Abraham Lincoln. Then Dennis Halpin presented on reconstruction and the long-lasting effects of W.E.B. DuBois’ approach to history. Here are additional resources from the session.

January 28 – Section 4: W. E. B. Du Bois (Add the Facebook Event to your calendar)
Guest: Virginia Humanities’ Justin Reid on Reconstruction and the Great Migration

Check out Virginia Humanities’ Justin Reid’s presentation.

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Additional resources mentioned in the session:



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