He Was Who He Needed to Be

In Season 3, Episode 4, of Not Even Past, host Brendan Wolfe considers the life of Henry Martin, a formerly enslaved man who for years worked as a janitor at the University of Virginia. Something of a mascot, something of a joke—that’s how the community treated him but underneath that was a black man just attempting to survive. Wolfe and producer Miranda Bennett interview Edwina St. Rose and Bernadette Whitsett-Hammond, local historians working to maintain the cemetery where Martin is buried and tease out the stories of Charlottesville’s black community.

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Read Martin’s life story, as told to the yearbook Corks and Curls.
Read a faculty member’s memories of Martin.
Read Martin’s obituary in the university’s Alumni Bulletin.
Read Martin’s obituary in the Charlottesville Daily Progress.
Read a newspaper report on Martin’s funeral.
Look at a slideshow of images of Martin at the university.

Click below to read a transcript of the show.

IMAGE: Henry Martin poses on the Lawn of the University of Virginia in April 1896. (University of Virginia Special Collections)


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