Local newspaper editors in Virginia say they hadn’t been aware of their publications’ roles in the 1883 Danville massacre. “It’s just appalling,” Steven Doyle, editor of the Danville Register & Bee, said of historical headlines that were published about the 1883 Danville massacre — in which a white mob murdered six Black men and suppressed the African American vote before the statewide election.
Local historians Dean Hairston and Karice Luck-Brimmer, who are both African American, had trouble discovering their family history in Danville, Virginia. African American history can be difficult to uncover. Traditional histories were written by white citizens. White-owned newspapers have been carefully preserved, whereas few Black newspaper archives exist before the 20th century. Black genealogical records have been destroyed.