Thinking historically, with an archivist’s mindset, about Virginia’s direction today
by: Charles Francis, Mattachine president
“Inherently divisive concepts” in history and education are targeted for review and elimination in Virginia, following the recent executive order by Gov. Glenn Youngkin. This review has begun with racial issues, but we can be sure sexuality and gender “divisive concepts” are not far behind. As president of an LGBT history society who entered UVA in 1969, I am frequently asked what things were like for gays there in the day.
Everyone has opinions. So, we “archive activists” went to a far back corner of a reading room at the University of Virginia’s Alderman Library and discovered scores of huge, hardbound volumes of old “Cavalier Daily” student newspapers. If you want to get the feeling of a place and time, browse contemporaneous newspaper accounts, especially student newspapers! Of course, the old “CD”’s were not digitized or indexed, so we carefully turned page by dusty newspaper page, until we got to the “inherently divisive” reporting.