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Paying the price: How Williamsburg’s Black business sector died in the 20th century

In her most recent article for the WYDaily, Alexa Doiron spoke to Latasha Holloway about her grandmother's experiences in mid-20th century Williamsburg, specifically about the Triangle Business Block section of downtown and the importance of documenting the history of the Black business owners who once called that area home. Doiron goes on to detail how those Black-owned businesses had been driven to close by "decades of local government action." 

In speaking of her grandmother's desire for the history of the Black businesses of the Triangle Business Block to be preserved, Holloway says, "She didn’t want someone coming in and sugarcoating it and saying it was all rosy. There has been and will continue to be systemic racism…and before she died she was obsessed to make sure that history was preserved." 

Doiron highlights the Williamsburg Documentary Project and American Studies undergraduate student Zach Meredith's honors thesis, which utilitzed Holloway's grandmother's donated collection of historical documents, as ways of preserving and learning about the Triangle Business Block for generations.  The Williamsburg Documentary Project is an ongoing effort between William & Mary and the residents of Williamsburg to understand the city's past and present. February is Black History Month.

For Alexa Doiron's full article in the WYDaily, please click here.