Statement of Purpose
Zann Nelson, writer, historian and advocate shares why she launched the Right the Record Program.
“I have been raising awareness regarding the vast wealth of African American history and heritage within our communities, across the Commonwealth of Virginia and into the far reaches of the Deep South for more than forty years. However, each investigation and subsequent story seemed to be disconnected from the others, as if it were a one off. The efforts even when successful, lacked a cohesiveness. A lot of time was wasted answering the frequently asked question, Why are you doing this? The simple answer is “To Right the Record” and it stuck!”
Nelson explains that it is mandatory to know, document and share the untold history thus lifting the veil on what has been unknown, unrecognized and uncommemorated. It is also critical to the program’s success that work be collaborative within the community to correct and amend those issues with such actions as resolutions of intent, naming opportunities, memorials and mechanisms of interpretation. This work demands community engagement and ownership. “Consultants can be engaged for workshops but a successful and sustainable effort must come from within the community,” Nelson stated.
Mission, Principals, Goals
To create an all-encompassing umbrella for projects large and small that share a common purpose to correct, add, and/or amend the histories that have been ignored, denied and excluded. These activities will enable individuals and communities to advance reconciliation and foster a more knowledgeable community.
- Collaborative in spirit and activity
- Multi-racial and multi-cultural in composition
- Accurately assess the community’s current status regarding the awareness and recognition of its complete heritage and history
- Well documented Histories
- Project-based action plan
- Raise awareness where facts, histories and truths are absent, unrecognized or misrepresented.
- Create and implement strategies that correct these issues.
- Reduce the divisiveness that exists as a result of generations of resentment and distrust and encourage engagement in a more unified and prosperous community.
- Normalize a more accurate history and open the pathways to eliminating the artificial obstacles known collectively as systemic racism created and now perpetuates racial bias. Note: The Right the Record Program will work effectively in any community that suffers from a culture of historic bias be it racial, religious, ethnic, financial or other.
Special consideration: the Right the Record project is a living project, and as such is subject to updates and edits as new information and documentation is uncovered. If you have information you would like to share or contribute, please email: [email protected]
About the African American Heritage Alliance
Historians and citizens passionate about the legacy of African Americans in Culpeper, VA created an organization focused on telling the whole story. The African American Heritage Alliance (AAHA) was formed to raise awareness of Culpeper’s African American heritage through education, research, preservation, and promotion. AAHA also supports recordation and publication of related research materials. AAHA recently created a Facebook page to provide a place to share stories and learn about little known or unheard Culpeper Town and County African American history. It’s also a place to post announcements of upcoming events related to Culpeper’s African American Community. AAHA encourages and welcomes participation. Information may also be sent to [email protected]