VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – The Virginia Beach Cultural Affairs Department and Norfolk State University have extended a partnership they say will continue the celebration of Black history, year-round.

The partnership provides a free, quarterly panel series. This year’s theme is “Black Resistance.”

Discussions will range from an overview of the national topic to how the theme impacts communities, families, education and other sectors.

The series kicks off on Feb. 17 with an “Oral History Gathering Day” from 9 a.m. to noon at Renaissance Academy. NSU students and professors will interview alumni of the Princess Anne County Training School/Union Kempsville High School (PACTS/UKHS), the first high school for Black students in Princess Anne County, now known as Virginia Beach.

If you graduated from PACTS/UKHS, or can connect an alumnus to this project, please email Hillary Plate, Cultural Programming and Grants Coordinator for Cultural Affairs, at

This is the third year Dr. Cassandra Newby-Alexander will serve as moderator and co-host of the panel. Newby-Alexander is an award-winning author, endowed professor of Virginia Black History and Culture, and emeritus director of the Joseph Jenkins Roberts Center for African Diaspora Studies.

The panels are produced by and co-hosted by Dr. Stephanie Richmond, co-director of the Joseph Jenkins Roberts Center for African Diaspora Studies, associate professor of History, and chair of the Curriculum Committee for the College of Liberal Arts.

The free series will continue throughout the year, on the following topics:

  • Black Resistance: Art, Performance and Culture
  • Black Resistance: Education and Law
  • Black Resistance: Community and Press

Virtual panel registration information, and dates and times for the remaining panels, will be announced at