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Wendy Ewald portrait of Tonette

The oral history interviews presented here are part of the ongoing Carver-VCU Partnership that began in 1996. The Partnership's stated goal is to "create a shared urban community with a commitment to improving the neighborhood's quality of life." Carver is situated in Richmond, Virginia, just north of VCU's Monroe Park campus, and is primarily a working class African American neighborhood, home to some 1,500 residents. The Carver name is derived from the neighborhood school named for George Washington Carver (1864-1943). The area was once called Sheep Hill because of its proximity to early stockyards.

These fifteen oral histories were conducted in 1999 and 2000 as part of a project funded by a grant from the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and Public Policy. The project, described as a "Living Newspaper," produced a play entitled "Sheep Hill Memories — Carver Dreams." Those interviewed include longtime residents, including Barbara Abernathy, former president of the Carver Area Civic Improvement League, and Dr. Roy A. West, former mayor of Richmond, as well as newcomers to the community and those who have moved away from the neighborhood. The documentary play, which used information collected from the oral histories and other sources, focused on the history and survival of the Carver neighborhood.

  • Carver Community
  • 1112 W. Marshall Steet
  • 900 Catherine Street
  • 1106-14 West Clay Street

These interviews are part of a collection documenting the Carver neighborhood housed in VCU Libraries Special Collections and Archives department at the James Branch Cabell Library. They are presented as MP3 files with complete PDF transcriptions. Copyright for the materials in this collection is managed by the VCU Libraries. The use of these materials is subject to the stipulations specified in the VCU Libraries copyright page.

Learn more about the Carver-VCU Partnership and the history of the Carver neighborhood.

Interviewees


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