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Celebrating Simms

Celebrating Simms is an online companion to the permanent exhibition dedicated to the life and work of educator Lucy Simms and to the Lucy F. Simms School, which was named in her honor. Built shortly after Simm's death in 1934, the Lucy F. Simms School "served African-American students from all over Rockingham County [Virginia] and beyond between 1938 and 1965." This online exhibit emerged from a collaboration between Mollie Godfrey, a professor of English and Africana Studies at James Madison University (JMU); Sean McCarthy, also an English professor at JMU; and Robin Little, founder and president of the Shenandoah Valley Black Heritage Project. Together, Godfrey, McCarthy, and Little worked with a number of JMU students to research the history of the Lucy F. Simms School, as well as the broader history of African-American education in Harrisonburg, Virginia. At the center of this website is the Celebrating Simms exhibit, which includes a biography of Simms, a consideration of her legacy, and a number of related images and primary documents. In addition, visitors can explore an interactive timeline and map that documents the history of African-American Harrisonburg from the seventeenth century through the present. Celebrating Simms offers a valuable resource for history instructors, as well as anyone interested in the history of education and African-American history.
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