Images of America: Richmond’s First African Baptist Church provides a pictorial history of one of the oldest churches in Richmond, Virginia. First African Baptist Church has served the Richmond community since 1780, proving to be a pillar of strength for African Americans in the former Confederate capital. The congregation was interracial, including Whites, free Blacks, and the enslaved. The pastors and church leadership were entirely White, and by 1800 the ratio of Black over White membership was 3 to 1. Overcrowded conditions within the church building on College and Broad Streets impelled the congregation to split and form two churches, segregated by race. The White congregants moved into a new building at 12th and Broad Streets, while the African American worshipers stayed in the old premises. On July 1, 1841, First African Baptist Church was inaugurated and has persevered through tumultuous years that saw school desegregation, the founding of the Richmond Crusade for Voters, the arrest of the Richmond 34 during the February 22, 1960, Sit-in, and the Campaign for Human Dignity. Through all, First African Baptist Church has continued its dedication to community service, the Christian Gospel, and its mission of social justice.



Images of America: The Richmond 34 and the Civil Rights Movement provides a pictorial history of one of the first efforts that shaped the Campaign for Human Dignity civil rights movement from 1960-1963. Experience through vintage images decade predating the arrest of 34 Virginia Union University students, known as the Richmond 34 on February 22, 1960 to the celebratory events commemorating what would forever change the social, political, and economic life of a city, a state, and millions of inhabitants. This book provides the story of the courageous students during a sit-in protest at the most upscale department store in Richmond, Virginia, heralded the upending of a long-established way of life and a change of direction from which there would be no turning back. The students would see their actions galvanize a community into affecting wide-ranging reforms in desegregation and play a significant role in ending the nearly 70-year grip on power of one of the nation’s strongest political machines. Surprisingly, their achievement faded into obscurity, and only in recent years has its importance been recognized.

February 22, 2020, will mark the 60th anniversary of the Richmond 34’s arrest.  Dr. Kimberly A. Matthews and Dr. Raymond Pierre Hylton want their work to contribute to the rediscovery of this historic event that changed the landscape of Richmond, Virginia and beyond.


  • Katrice Hawthorne
    I think this is just so awesome! You are doing an amazing job of highlighting the "regular" people who really make history!
    Katrice Hawthorne
  • Reginald D. Ford
    This is a great piece of history that must be preserved and handed down to each generation, thank you Dr. Matthews.  The Richmond 34 did a lot for all people of color, thank you for recognizing that.
    Reginald D. Ford
  • Elizabeth Johnson Rice, Member of the Richmond 34
    Great Job.  Buy this Book.  
    Elizabeth Johnson Rice, Member of the Richmond 34
  • Michelle Evans-Oliver
    Wonderful!! Thank you for writing a book on this no longer fading story.  
    Michelle Evans-Oliver




Images of Modern America: The Richmond Crusade for Voters provides a pictorial history of one of the nation’s most influential voter education and voter registration organizations through vintage and contemporary images.  Experience each decade predating the birth of the Crusade’s inception in 1956, and see how the many faces of Jim Crow still exist today. The book provides many instances of the dedication and commitment of the men and women, who helped shape not only Richmond’s politics but also Virginia’s government with the likes of L. Douglas Wilder, Dr. William Ferguson Reid, Chuck Richardson, Ruth Tinsley, and Ethel T. Overby.  Despite efforts to suppress minority voter turnout, the Richmond Crusade for Voters thrived at motivating voters to participate in local, state, and national elections.  In 2016, the Richmond Crusade for Voters celebrated 60 years of empowering and educating voters.  Dr. Kimberly A. Matthews wants her work will bring to light a small portion of the trials and triumphs of the African American experience.  Her goal is to engage and educate a new generation to the sacrifices of our ancestors and to encourage a continued quest for empowerment and equality for all.