By: Kym Grinnage
This April, Virginia Union University will celebrate its 150th Anniversary. A university that was born on the site of Lumpkin's Jail, a former slave trading complex and jail for runaway slaves became a beacon of hope and education for recently freed slaves.
Virginia Union is one of the oldest historically black colleges and universities in the country. Originally known as Richmond Theological School for Freedmen, VUU is one of more than 20 colleges that was founded by the American Baptist Home Mission Society following the end of the Civil War.
Virginia Union students were pivotal in the Civil Rights movement. On Feb. 22, 1960, approximately 200 VUU students marched from the VUU campus to downtown Richmond to protest segregated lunch counters at Thalhimer's Department Store. Thirty-four students were arrested and became known as the "Richmond 34."
Richmond Virginia salutes you Virginia Union University for staying true to the mission of education equals freedom.