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Dred Scott Presents: Sons & Daughters of Reconciliation

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L. Douglas Wilder Performing Arts Center at Norfolk State University

700 Park Avenue

Suite 111

Norfolk, VA 23504

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Two 19th-century U.S.Supreme Court cases denied basic rights to Black people. Plaintiffs' & judges' descendants now fight racism together.

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In honor of the National Day of Racial Healing, the Hampton Roads Community Foundation, Norfolk State University, Old Dominion University and Virginians for Reconciliation will sponsor a January 21, 2020 Understanding Hampton Roads panel discussion in Norfolk, VA.

Dred Scott Presents: Sons and Daughters of Reconciliation will be at the L. Douglas Wilder Performing Arts Center at Norfolk State University.

Panelists for this Understanding Hampton Roads forum will include:

  • Lynne M. Jackson of St. Louis, descendant of Dred Scott, the slave who sued for freedom in 1857.
  • Charles Taney IV of Greenwich, CT, descendant of Supreme Court Justice Robert Brooke Taney, who wrote the Dred Scott decision. Lynne Jackson is founder and director of The Dred Scott Heritage Foundation. Charles Taney is a nonprofit consultant.
  • Keith Plessy, descendant of Homer Plessy of New Orleans, who challenged separate railroad accommodations for Black and White passengers in 1892.
  • Phoebe Ferguson of New Orleans, descendant, of Louisiana Judge John Howard Ferguson, who ruled against Plessy. Keith Plessy and Phoebe Ferguson are co-founders of the Plessy and Ferguson Foundation where Keith Plessy is president.

These four descendants are united in their resolve to guard against inequities. They strive to help others understand how the American legal system's history of discriminatory policies and practices led to a system of racial bias and inequities.

The panel moderator will be Henry L. Chambers Jr., University of Richmond law professor and member of the Governor's Commission to Examine Racial Inequity in Virginia Law.

The discussion will focus on the 1857 Dred Scott Decision and 1896 Plessy vs. Ferguson cases. These landmark Supreme Court cases denied basic civil rights to African Americans that had implications for many decades. The discussion also will highlight opportunities for understanding and healing and show how the descendants now work together to oppose racism.

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L. Douglas Wilder Performing Arts Center at Norfolk State University

700 Park Avenue

Suite 111

Norfolk, VA 23504

View Map

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