Three storyboards that comprise the “Truth and Reconciliation: African American Memory & Storyboard Project” were unveiled Sunday, March 20, from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. on the town square quadrant in front of the Christiansburg Post Office.
The unveiling took place at 3:30 p.m. after a brief program that began at 3:00 p.m. Jordin Harris, a senior at Christiansburg High School and a student intern at Christiansburg Institute, spoke at 3:15 p.m. Dr. N.L. Bishop delivered an inspiring citizen’s address at approximately 3:35 p.m. Christiansburg Mayor Mike Barber also spoke about what this historic milestone achievement meant for all of the Montgomery County community.
Acting as emcees for the afternoon’s program were Chris Sanchez, executive director of Christiansburg Institute, and Casey Jenkins, executive director of the Montgomery Museum of Art & History.
The project began in 2018 when Christiansburg Institute and the Montgomery Museum of Art & History staff and board members and local community members organized and took action to preserve and increase awareness of the county’s rich African-American history and culture. The group determined a set of shared values that would guide the project: truth-telling, honesty, and reconciliation, specifically around challenging and contested histories where generational harm and racial trauma are ongoing and narratives are competing.
The outcome of this work was the construction and erection of the three history and educational storyboards in downtown Christiansburg in the town-owned quadrant in front of the post office.
The Town of Christiansburg granted approval for the project in July 2021 to cultivate the public space with the addition of the storyboards to illustrate African-American history in Montgomery County. The storyboards are themed “Community Life,” “Education,” and “Slavery in Montgomery County.”