Another item, a scrapbook that once belonged to a woman named Jessie Fuller, who was born in Chicago in 1926 and attended Hampton Institute from 1945 to 1949, contains valentines and notes from friends, as well as mementos from her sorority and photos of her basketball team.
“I love using the album in classes because students relate well to a peer from another historical era,” Appiah said in an email. “There’s a misconception that archives are only about serious research; but students always laugh and get excited as they leaf through the album in response to the joy that Jessie documents about belonging to a sorority, hanging out with her friends, and going to dances. African American history is so often limited to the difficult parts, like slavery and Jim Crow, but this album is a wonderful record of joy and social bonds.”
Take a look at UVA Library’s collection of valentines below.