Victoria DiMartile ’15 explores roots of local African-American business district
A Centre College intern with the Heart of Danville recently embarked on a journey to discover the historical roots of Danville’s African-American business district. Junior anthropology major Victoria DiMartile spent more than 160 hours of research and interviews to compile a new historical guide titled, “You Don’t Ever Want to Forget Second Street: A Retrospective Guide to the African-American Business District.”
During the fall 2013 internship, DiMartile researched the town’s African-American history for the project, conducting oral history interviews with residents who experienced the district before its demolition.
“Hearing the stories of the past made the time of Second Street come alive in a wonderful way,” DiMartile said. “It was rewarding listening to the stories of those who contributed to this effort — their life histories, their experiences, their triumphs and difficulties, and the lessons they’ve learned over the years. They were such great people, able to laugh in the midst of hardship, and always emphasizing the importance of their strong community.”
The Heart of Danville Main Street Program recently celebrated the release of the guide with a reception at Grayson’s Tavern on Constitution Square Historic Site. Read more about DiMartile’s internship and her work on the new historical guide in this complete article from The Advocate-Messenger.