NAACP Culpeper #7058

Also Serving Madison and Rappahannock Counties

Category: News (Page 1 of 7)

Banned in Madison

1) For failure to promote a love of our country, citizenship, military service, or present an unbiased approach to these topics:
2) For failure to promote respect for marriage/family/parents:
3) For disrespect of religious faith:

School Board / Board Members

Madison County School Board Priorities for 2022 Promote excellence both in the classroom and in extracurricular activities to inspire student achievement and lifelong learning, success, and American citizenship. Ensure every student has access to the resources and educational rigor they need at the right moment in their education, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, language, ability, family background or family income.

Youngkin requires people convicted of felonies to apply for voting rights on a case-by-case basis

RICHMOND — Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) has changed state policy for restoring civil rights to people who serve time for a felony conviction, greatly reducing the number of former inmates who regain the right to vote.

Youngkin canceled a practice begun by a Republican predecessor, Gov. Robert F. McDonnell, of automatically restoring rights for at least some former inmates once their sentence is complete. Instead, each person must file an application and will be considered on a case-by-case basis, Secretary of the Commonwealth Kay Coles James said Wednesday in a letter to a key senator.

Virginia and Kentucky are the only states that permanently disenfranchise anyone convicted of a felony, according to the American Civil Liberties Union. A handful of other states limit voting access for those convicted of certain felonies.

If you live in our service area of Culpeper, Madison, or Rappahannock and need help applying for the restoration of your rights, please reach out to us here


Youngkin requires people convicted of felonies to apply for voting rights

RICHMOND – Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) has changed state policy for restoring civil rights to people who serve time for a felony conviction, greatly reducing the number of former inmates who regain the right to vote. Fast, informative and written just for locals. Get The 7 DMV newsletter in your inbox every weekday morning.

2023 Essay Contest Winners Announced

(click a photo to enlarge)

Recently, students in Culpeper, Madison, and Rappahannock were challenged to write an original essay of 500 words or less telling us about a Black American (famous or not) who has had a positive impact on their life. Incredibly, we received SIXTY-FIVE passionate, well-written submissions. It was incredibly difficult to choose, but these are the ones that moved us the most (click a link to read the essay):


Elementary School:
  • E9: Kyle Peterson Tapia, Jr; Grade 4, Emerald Hill Elementary School
  • E30: Alexander Bradshaw, Grade 4, Homeschooled in Culpeper County
Middle School:
  • M8: Yasmin Morton, Grade 7, Culpeper Middle School
  • M13: Amira Bradshaw; Grade 7; Homeschooled in Culpeper County
High School:
  • H7: Maris Teodoro, Eastern View High School, Class of 2023
  • H8: Gabrielle A. Williams, 12th Grade, Homeschooled in Culpeper County
  • H9: Josey Ribeiro-Mills, 17 Years Old, Eastern View High School
Judges’ Awards:
  • M14: Malaysia Ravenel, Floyd T Binns
  • H4: Hunter Lutz, Eastern View High School Class of 2023


Why U.S. maternal mortality is more than ten times the estimated rates of some other high income countries

The U.S. rate for 2021 was 32.9 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, which is more than ten times the estimated rates of some other high-income countries, including Australia, Austria, Israel, Japan, and Spain which all hovered between 2 and 3 deaths per 100,000 in 2020. OB-GYN Dr. Linda Burke explained the health policy choices that she sees at the root of this disparity, which rose sharply in 2021, and which in all years has been especially deadly for Black women.

Maternal deaths in the U.S. spiked in 2021, CDC reports

In 2021, the U.S. had one of the worst rates of maternal mortality in the country’s history, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The report found that 1,205 people died of maternal causes in the U.S. in 2021. That represents a 40% increase from the previous year.

The sudden push to rename a historic school that educated scores of Black students reeks of revenge

It took years of community outcry, the urging of a governor, being sued by the NAACP, and national media scrutiny for the Hanover County School Board to finally be shamed into voting to remove the names of Confederate treasonists from two schools’ monikers in 2020. Now, this same board is proposing that the one school in the district with a name representative of Black history and Black excellence be renamed, in a move that smells like spite and looks like a regression.

Last Tuesday, a packed School Board meeting saw over a dozen members of the public speak up about John M. Gandy Elementary School, an institution that was once one of the only schools for Black students in Hanover County. A new school building under construction on the current Gandy site that will replace Gandy and consolidate it with Henry Clay Elementary was slated to retain the school name at the project’s inception in 2018.

Back then, board members assured community members that they had no intention of removing Gandy’s name from the replacement school. What has changed since then?

In Hanover, a name is more than a name – Virginia Mercury

Back then, board members assured community members that they had no intention of removing Gandy’s name from the replacement school. What has changed since then? Well, the board became embroiled in a firestorm over its refusal to change the Confederate school names starting in 2019.

Action Alert – Public Review of Virginia History and Social Science Standards of Learning

Before March 21, 2023, provide written, public comment on the History and Social Studies Standards on the VDOE website found here.

Click to read our statement about the proposed standards


Chapter President Dr. Uzziah Harris addresses the Virginia Department of Education at Wednesday's public hearing in Charlottesville.

Chapter President Dr. Uzziah Harris addresses the Virginia Department of Education at Wednesday’s public hearing at PVCC in Charlottesville.

The Virginia NAACP demands the Virginia Board of Education reject the January 2023 version of the Standards presented by former Superintendent of Education Jillian Balow, who resigned on March 1st, and re-consider the August 2022 version of the standards that is far more equitable. The Virginia Board of Education accepted the January 2023 SOL revision after the Virginia Social Studies Leaders Consortium (VSSLC), the Virginia Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (VASCD), and the American Historical Association (AHA) released the “Proposed Combined History and Social Studies Standards” that combines the August 2022 and November 2022 iterations, and that the Virginia NAACP supports. Additionally, we implore Governor Youngkin to appoint a new Superintendent who adopts History and Social Studies Standards that reflect and include the expertise of Virginia educators, scholars, and citizens who value historical accuracy, have a sound understanding of to combine scholarship with pedagogy effectively, and will not be used as pawns to propel a political agenda committed to reifying the myth of American exceptionalism and eliminating Black history from the school curriculum. We appreciate the opportunity for concerned citizens to participate in statewide hearings and we encourage our members to have their voices heard.

Please Review the summary published by the American Historical Association, an organization also dedicated to pushing back against ahistorical presentations and interpretations in K-12 education, and Kimberlee Crenshaw on The Reid Out and Democracy Now. This discussion helps to contextualize current efforts to erase Black history.


Public Review of Virginia History and Social Science Standards of Learning

The American Historical Association (AHA) has continued to monitor with concern the revisions process for proposed History and Social Science Standards of Learning for Virginia Public Schools. Now, the Virginia Board of Education (VBOE) wants to hear from members of the public in preparation for final review.

Open House and Raffle

NAACP Raffle

The Culpeper Branch of the NAACP, also serving Madison and Rappahannock counties, invites the public to join them for their Ribbon Cutting and Open House event to announce the official opening of their new headquarters located in the Culpeper Business Center located at 14115 Lovers Lane Culpeper, VA 22701.

The ceremony will be held on March 16th at 4 pm, immediately followed by an Open House event until 6:30 pm to include tours of their suite, a fundraising raffle, and light refreshments. The branch’s general meeting which is also open to the public will begin at 7 pm.

Raffle tickets can be purchased online beginning February 16th and in person on the day of the event. Raffle Prizes will include gift cards from Bowles Southern Fried, Shawn’s BBQ, and a two-book prize that includes “The 1619 Project” and “Born On The Water”. Ticket holders are not required to be present in order to win.

Visit to purchase your tickets or make a donation.

Open House, Ribbon Cutting March 16

NAACP RafflePlease join the NAACP Culpeper Branch for a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house event to celebrate the opening of our new branch headquarters. We will be offering tours of our suite, a fundraising raffle, and light refreshments. All are welcome to also attend our general monthly meeting which will immediately follow the open house. Masks are encouraged.

Buy as many $5 raffle tickets as you like! All proceeds will go toward the work of the local branch whose goal is to achieve economic, social, and political justice.

Click Here to Buy Raffle Tickets

Culpeper Business Center 14115 Lovers Lane Culpeper VA 22701 Please join the NAACP Culpeper Branch for a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house event to celebrate the opening of our new branch headquarters. We will be offering tours of our suite, a fundraising raffle, and light refreshments.

The Fourteenth Amendment

Today is the anniversary of the day in 1868 that Americans changed the U.S. Constitution for the fourteenth time, giving the federal government power to guarantee that state governments could not pass laws that treated some people worse than others.

The background to this constitutional amendment was that in the wake of the Civil War, former Confederates in the southern states had done their best to force their Black neighbors back into subservience. Through a series of laws known collectively as the “Black Codes,” state legislators in summer 1865 regulated how Black Americans worked, lived, worshiped, and conducted themselves, without any recourse to the law for protection when they were robbed, assaulted, raped, and killed.

The Black Codes, sometimes called Black Laws, were laws governing the conduct of African Americans (free and freed blacks). In 1832, James Kent wrote that “in most of the United States, there is a distinction in respect to political privileges, between free white persons and free colored persons of African blood; and in no part of the country do the latter, in point of fact, participate equally with the whites, in the exercise of civil and political rights.”[1] Although Black Codes existed before the Civil War and many Northern states had them, it was the Southern U.S. states that codified such laws in everyday practice. The best known of them were passed in 1865 and 1866 by Southern states, after the American Civil War, in order to restrict African Americans’ freedom, and to compel them to work for low or no wages.

But there was no way northern members of Congress were going to permit southern lawmakers, who only months before had been shooting at U.S. soldiers, to discriminate against the very men who had fought to save the United States.

Their solution was the Fourteenth Amendment.

The amendment overturned the infamous 1857 Dred Scott decision that, in addition to declaring that Black men were not citizens and did not have the rights of citizens, declared that democracy was created at the state level by those people in a state who were allowed to vote. In 1857, this meant white men, almost exclusively. If those people voted to do something widely unpopular—like adopting human enslavement, for example—they had the right to do so. People like Abraham Lincoln pointed out that such state power would eventually mean that an unpopular minority could take over the national government, forcing their ideas on everyone else, but defenders of states’ rights stood firm.

And so, the Fourteenth Amendment gave the federal government the power to protect individuals even if their state legislatures had passed discriminatory laws. “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws,” it said. And then it went on to say that “Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.”

But the amendment had to be ratified. In the midterm elections of 1866, the driving issue was the election of state legislators who would either pass or reject the Fourteenth Amendment. President Andrew Johnson, who had stepped into the presidency when an actor had murdered President Abraham Lincoln the year before, stood against the amendment and backed throwing power to the state legislatures. His support gave southern terrorists the confidence to attack formerly enslaved people not only in private, but also in deadly public riots that killed as many as 1000 people before the election.

For their part, the Republicans who wanted federal protection of equal rights also turned to the people but appealed to voters’ commitment to the principle of equality before the law. Senator James G. Blaine, Republican of Maine, later recalled, “The one…point…echoed and re-echoed by every speaker…was the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment. It was evidently the unalterable determination of the Republicans to make that the leading feature of the campaign…to urge it though the press, to present it on the stump, to proclaim it through every authorized exponent of public opinion.”

Voters sided with the Republicans and the Fourteenth Amendment by a landslide against Johnson and the Black Codes. The Republicans won 143 representatives to Congress to the Democrats’ 49. The Republicans maintained similar control over the state houses.

“The importance…of the political struggle of 1866 cannot be overestimated,” Blaine recalled. “If the contest had ended [differently] the history of the subsequent years would…have been radically different. There would have been no further amendment to the Constitution,” and southern legislators would “sustain all the State laws already passed for the practical re-enslavement” of Black Americans, “with such additional enactments as would have made them cruelly effective…. [T]he result must have been a deplorable degradation of the National character and an ignoble surrender to the enemies of the Union,” who would then direct the government.

The state legislatures ratified the Fourteenth Amendment and added it to the Constitution in 1868, and in 1870 the federal government set out to enforce national equality before the law with the creation of the Department of Justice, whose first job was to bring down the Ku Klux Klan terrorists in the South who were assaulting and murdering their Black neighbors.

In the post–World War II era, the federal government again used the Fourteenth Amendment to protect citizens against discrimination at the state level when the Supreme Court began to use the equal protection clause and the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment aggressively to apply the protections in the Bill of Rights to the states. The civil rights decisions of the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, including the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision that outlawed segregation in public schools and the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, come from this doctrine. Under it, the federal government took up the mantle of protecting the rights of individual Americans in the states from the whims of state legislatures.

Opponents of these new civil rights protections quickly began to object that such decisions were “legislating from the bench,” rather than permitting state legislatures to make their own laws. They began to call for “originalism,” the idea that the Constitution should be interpreted only as the Framers had intended when they wrote it, an argument that focused on the creation of law at the state level. That theory is now dominant in the Supreme Court. Two weeks ago, on June 24, 2022, it rejected the federal government’s power to protect civil rights in the states, and more than a dozen state legislatures have rushed to outlaw abortion procedures.

Yesterday, Biden reached for the power embodied by the Fourteenth Amendment for the federal government to overrule state laws discriminating against citizens within their borders. But he also echoed the electoral fight to put that amendment in place when he told Americans: “We need two additional pro-choice senators and a pro-choice House to codify Roe as federal law. Your vote can make that a reality. I know it’s frustrating, and it made a lot of people very angry. But the truth is this…. [The] women of America can determine the outcome of this issue.”

Source: July 8, 2022 – by Heather Cox Richardson (

NAACP Statement on the Madison County, Virginia School Board



NAACP Statement on the Madison County, Virginia, School Board

Media Inquiries:


(7.6.22) The NAACP Culpeper Branch #7058, also representing Madison and Rappahannock counties in Virginia, has long prioritized education in our mission to achieve equality and eliminate race-based prejudice. We regularly partner with local schools to provide scholarships and educational resources for students and teachers.

Since February, when the Madison County School Board held its 2022 annual retreat, we have become increasingly concerned with statements and actions by members of the school board. In particular, we note:

  • Recent analysis shows that Black students in Madison County have consistently performed at lower levels than their white peers in reading, writing, and math; and graduated at a lower rate.¹ There have also been numerous incidences of students using racist language and engaging in racially motivated incidents on school buses, in classrooms, and on sports fields. However, at the April school board meeting, board member Charlie Sheads blamed parents for achievement disparities and erroneously stated that “the mission of Black Lives Matter is to destroy the nuclear family.” Members of the school board have repeatedly demonstrated a willful ignorance of history that has deprived many Black Americans of equal opportunities and contributed to disparities in education, including practices and cultural biases that persist to this day.
  • At the February 5th school board retreat, board member Christopher Wingate stated his concern about the school system’s goal of hiring a more diverse workforce, including African American teachers. Appallingly, he expressed caution that this should not hinder the system’s “pursuit of excellence.” Mr. Wingate also stated at the school board retreat that “with equity, there’s a focus on race, and of course we shouldn’t focus on race.”
  • The school board recently proposed extremist policy revisions designed to prevent students in need of affirmation and support, including LGBTQ students and those with abusive or dysfunctional family situations, from receiving counseling and resources. This would potentially endanger students and eliminate the “safety net” and privacy protections that many of our students desperately need. The policies demonstrate a clear mistrust of our educational and counseling workforce.
  • In June, despite protests from educators, parents, and community members, the school board voted to ban several texts from the high school curriculum, including a speech on the Vietnam War by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and an acclaimed letter written by James Baldwin. Board member Christopher Wingate stated that the works did not reflect a “love of country” and patriotism. We would like to address this specifically by quoting Dr. King in 1967:

“Let me say finally that I oppose the war in Vietnam because I love America. I speak out against this war, not in anger, but with anxiety and sorrow in my heart, and, above all, with a passionate desire to see our beloved country stand as the moral example of the world. I speak out against this war because I am disappointed with America. There can be no great disappointment where there is no great love.”

The NAACP Culpeper Branch calls upon the Madison County School Board to become more educated about racial and LGBTQ intolerance in our community, our schools, and our nation’s history and to support the efforts of the MCPS administration by:

  • Focusing on creating a safe environment for all students where racism and bigotry are not tolerated, rather than creating undue and unwarranted restrictions on our professional educators and limiting resources for our students.
  • Upholding the language and the true spirit of the board’s 2020 Equity Statement and continuing the work of the Equity Task Force.
  • Committing to closing the school system’s achievement gap and addressing disparities in school discipline, and to teaching accurate and complete history including diverse and competing perspectives that will encourage critical thinking and empower students to succeed.

“No one should have to prove to you that racism exists. If you don’t see it, it’s because you choose not to. And that’s cruel and tragic.”

– Bernice King, CEO, Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change


¹ Virginia Department of Education





The Rev. Dr. Uzziah Harris
NAACP Culpeper Branch #7058

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