New Book Takes A Look At Black History In Richmond

RICHMOND, Ky. (WKYT) – Gary James Noland Sr. and Sharyn Richards Mitchell can recall a different era in Richmond’s history. The two are contributors to a new book called “Footprints: Traces of Black History in Richmond, Kentucky.”

“There’s very little shown and passed on about the black culture in Richmond,” said Gary James Noland Sr.

The book highlights Richmond’s rich African American society from the 1900s through the 1960s.

“It’s important for us to know, black and white, to know that we are an accomplished people,” said Sharyn Richards Mitchell.

Noland, who’s lived in Richmond all his life, says at one point, Richmond was home to seventy black-owned businesses.

“There were a number of people that had a multitude of businesses. Some had three or four businesses,” said Noland.

The book contributors say over time, African Americans moved to larger cities and they say the funding to own a business is an obstacle.

Noland says today, the number of African-American-owned businesses in the city is around seven or fewer.

“It’s sickening. That’s the best word for it,” Mithcell said. “it’s disheartening.”

The two hope one day, this part of Richmond’s history can come back to its heyday.

“Footprints: traces of black history in Richmond, Kentucky,” will be released to various libraries and shops next week in Richmond, and there’s talk about doing a Madison County edition of “Footprints” as well.

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