The History of Race at UVA

Hereford Residential College works diligently to promote awareness of the tyrannical history that The University of Virginia has participated in and promoted. Through education and understanding we have worked to provide resources for students, staff, and alumni to discover the history of racism and white supremacy at Jefferson’s University.

Educated in Racism:
A Narrative History of White Supremacy at UVA.

Hereford Fellow and Vice Provost for Academic Outreach Louis Nelson gives a walking tour of the Lawn that goes over the history of enslavement on grounds including the construction of the Lawn, the role of slaves, the Memorial to Enslaved Laborers, UVA’s history of eugenics, and the University’s gradual takeover of the land that was originally the freed African American settlement.

Hereford‘s Social Awareness Committee was inspired to convert Louis Nelson’s walking tour to an audio version to encourage people to listen from anywhere or take the walking tour themselves. They were then inspired to create their own version that would expound upon Louis Nelson’s Tyranny Tour to further educate students, staff, and alumni of the history of Tyranny at UVA. with an audio project written by Herefordians & voiced by Herefordians. We encourage you to listen to all of the clips in their entirety.

We also provide a comprehensive Resources Document:

Part 1 Introduction

Part 2 Displacement Land Appropriation

Part 3 Segregation Desegregation

Part 4 Eugenicism

Part 5 Memorials Namesakes

Part 6 Policing Judicial Systems

Part 7 Racist Organizations on Grounds

Part 8 Displays of Racism by Students Professors

Part 9 Conclusion


The University of Virginia was no exception to the practices of racial inequality and segregation that many states and schools were taking part in during the resistance to desegregation in the 1950s.


After the release of the 1924 film Birth of a Nation, membership in the Klu Klux Klan spiked nationwide. Charlottesville and the University of Virginia were enthusiastic participants in the national resurgence of public and celebratory white supremacy and the KKK.


As can be expected, students and professors at the University of Virginia have partaken in racist behavior toward people of color throughout the school’s history. University students and professors are no strangers to the racism and white supremacy that has flourished at UVA since the very beginning.