W&L’s Rainville Featured in Episode of PBS Series In the “Unmarked” episode of the “Reel South” series, Rainville highlights her research into historic African American cemeteries.
Lynn Rainville, director of institutional history and the Museums at Washington and Lee University, was interviewed for a recent episode of PBS’s television series “Reel South.” Now in its fifth season, “Reel South” is a curated documentary series and collaboration between UNC-TV and SCETV. In the cherished tradition of Southern storytelling, the series reveals the South’s proud yet complicated heritage, as told by a diversity of voices and perspectives.
The episode entitled “Unmarked” addresses the vast number of African American gravesites and burial grounds for enslaved persons that have been disappearing over the years in Virginia. The segment includes interview excerpts with Rainville and individuals with personal connections to the burial sites who have recently begun to uncover, maintain and preserve these locations across the state.
View the full episode of “Unmarked” here.
Rainville is a member of the Virginia General Assembly’s African American Cultural Resources Task Force and treasurer of the Virginia History Forum. Her research is focused on sharing the untold stories of overlooked Virginians and studying enslaved communities, historic graveyards and cemeteries, segregated schools, World War I and town poor farms.
Over the past three decades, she has researched the histories of institutions, including Dartmouth College, U.Va. and Sweet Briar; curated exhibitions on slavery and segregated schools; and partnered with architects to design a reconstruction of an 18th-century home that was to serve as the headquarters for the Tusculum Institute.