Scenic Sisters: How Garden Clubs Cultivated Virginia’s Female Political Activists
In the first decades of woman suffrage, Virginia’s garden clubs cultivated more than daffodils; they empowered women to become political activists and community leaders. Clubs registered members to vote and became the bane of advertisers, developers, and the Virginia Department of Transportation by coordinating campaigns to protect the environment, beautify highways, improve neighborhoods, and preserve historic places. Learn more about the political savvy of Virginia’s gardening women in this talk by 2021 Virginia Humanities Fellow Meredith Henne Baker, author of the acclaimed The Richmond Theater Fire, winner of the 2012 Jules and Frances F. Landry Award and the 2012 Phi Alpha Theta Best First Book Award.
This virtual event is sponsored by the Richmond Public Law Library. https://rvalibrary.org/services/law-library/
For more information about author Meredith Henne Baker, see https://www.theaterfirebook.com/
Meldon Jenkins-Jones is the Community Services Manager at Hull Street Library. As the former Richmond Public Library Law Librarian, she is a founder and the facilitator of the Law Library's Oliver W. Hill Book Club which meets bi-monthly online. The book club is named in honor of Oliver W. Hill (1907–2007), a Richmond African American attorney and civil rights activist. His efforts, along with others, resulted in the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court ruling that racial segregation in public education was unconstitutional. The Oliver W. Hill Book Club invites readers to explore various books dealing with the law, civil rights, and social justice in America. Meldon also chairs the Get Lit Advisory Committee which supports the Get Lit Reading Initiatives which include the Black Male Emergent Readers (BMER) program and the Lit Chicks Read Book Club led by Dianne Wilmore, LCSM at North Avenue Library.
Meldon is a graduate of the Leadership Metro Richmond Class of 2022. She was the first recipient of the Virginia Library Association (VLA) Librarians of Color Forum Award in 2021. In addition to being an active member of VLA, Meldon was formerly active in the Black Librarians Special Interest Section of the American Association of Law Libraries, and a past director of the Virginia Association of Law Libraries.
In 2011, Meldon received her Master's degree in Library and Information Studies from Florida State University. She is a graduate of Rutgers University School of Law--Newark and Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts where she majored in Russian Civilization and minored in Black Studies and physics.
A Richmond resident, Meldon is the mother of two children and enjoys spending time with her five grandchildren.