Tag Archives: James Wyatt Whitehead

Virginians in Cooperstown

by James Wyatt Whitehead V

On March 3rd, 1987 a long-distance telephone call came to the home of Ray Dandridge. It was a call well remembered by Mr. Dandridge in a speech given that summer in Cooperstown, New York.

“I was resting and my wife was in the backyard. So, I answered the phone. The phone caller says, I’m trying to find Ray Dandridge. I say, I’m Ray Dandridge.  Are you Ray Dandridge the ball player?  I said, yeah. And all the sudden he said, your life has changed.  I said, what do you mean my life has changed? I said, sometimes you know you get crank calls. So afterwards, me and him and talk awhile and then he said, I’m Ed Stack, President of the Hall of Fame and you have just been elected to the Hall of Fame. I want to thank each and every member of the Veterans Committee for allowing me to smell the roses. My only question is, why did you take so long?”

And just like that Mr. Dandridge, long time third baseman for the Negro League Newark Eagles became a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Continue reading

How to Contextualize a Confederate Statue

Clarke County courthouse. Credit: Wikipedia

by James Wyatt Whitehead V

On March 18th, 2021, the Clarke County Board of Supervisors accepted the eight-member Monument Committee’s recommendations for the Berryville courthouse Confederate Monument. The six-point platform, approved by the committee in a seven-to-one vote, called for:

  1. Dedicating the Courthouse Green to memorials and education.  Efforts should be made to recognize the contributions of African Americans in the Civil War.
  2. Preserving the Confederate monument with contextualization added.
  3. Placing additional memorials to highlight the service of more than 90 African-American soldiers in the Union armed forces as well as the recognition of Thomas Laws, a slave and informant for the Union army.
  4. Renaming one of the courthouse buildings in honor of a noted African American from Clarke County’s past.
  5. Acquisition of the Confederate monument by Clarke County.
  6. Enlisting private groups and citizens to fund the Courthouse Green improvements.

Continue reading