Before Virginia Military Institute cadets were photographed in blackface in yearbooks, they fought to preserve slavery during the Civil War in the Battle of New Market. The 2015 film Field of Lost Shoes - produced with $1 million in Virginia public funds - chronicles that battle.
Oliver W. Hill’s FBI file reveals casual racism, a lack of Communist ties, and a case of mistaken identity
Oliver White Hill is among the country’s most important civil rights attorneys of the 20th century, known for pursuing cases to dismantle segregation in Virginia before and after serving in the army during World War II. The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s file on Hill, however, offers its own remarkably skewed, racist, and paranoid view of Hill’s work, in keeping with Director J. Edgar Hoover’s deeply held suspicion of the Civil Rights movement.
As the Community Justice Films Series aired its final film in Richmond last February, the assembled individuals and groups began thinking about how to harness the energy and lessons learned from the two-year-long program. Public records provided part of the answer.