Kaine to Update Effort to Collect Info. on Black Virginians

AP, July 9, 2009

Gov. Tim Kaine is set to update Virginia’s first-in-the-nation initiative to electronically compile the records of black Virginians whose family history was smudged by slavery and racism.

The Virginia Freedmen Project has collected microfilm from the National Archives and digitized them to make genealogical records more accessible to African-American families.

Kaine will make an announcement Thursday on the initiative at the Black History Museum and Cultural Center in Richmond. The center has worked with volunteers in the labor-intensive task of taking the National Archives materials and making them available electronically.

Many black Virginians struggle to trace their family tree because of the legacy of slavery.

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