“That’s my daddy,” said 5-year-old Anais Lewis of Roanoke, while staring at the mural of his father, John R. Lewis, whose image and life was memorialized on May 26 at the Sankofa Community Orchard, 301 Covington Road on Richmond’s South Side. Mr. Lewis, who died in January 2021, taught students how to grow their own food and spent time “hanging out” in the garden, often keeping youngsters out of harm’s way as they got their hands dirty together. Mr. Lewis was the co-founder and executive director of Renew Richmond, a nonprofit that operated several urban agricultural sites and sometimes had pop-up stands where fresh produce that was grown and harvested by local Black youthS and adults was also often sold by them too. He advocated for Black communities to understand the power of gardening and self-sufficiency.
Duron Chavis, the founder of the Sankofa Community Garden, said Mr. Lewis was one of the “founding fathers of Black urban agriculture in the City of Richmond.” The mural was created by lead painter Sir James L. Thornhill assisted by R. Vashti Woods, both of Richmond.
Gov. Glenn Youngkin gave the keynote address during the commonwealth’s 67th Annual Memorial Day ceremony at the Virginia War Memorial on May 29 in Richmond. He then joined Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs Craig Crenshaw and Army Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, adjutant general of Virginia, in laying a wreath on the Shrine of Memory.
Dozens of people joined current and veteran military members to honor the men and women who lost their lives while protecting the United States.
Canna lilly leaves in the West End
Hundreds enjoy the Richmond Symphony’s Big Tent concert series playing at Abner Clay Park in Historic Jackson Ward for the first time Saturday, May 27. The free event in the recently renovated park featured works of noted Black composers such as Florence Beatrice Price, Joseph Bologne and Adolphus Hailstork.
Conducted by Chia-Hsuan Lin, the concert featured soloists Katerina Burton, a Maryland resident, and Isaac Wilson, left, a violinist in the symphony’s youth orchestra who received a standing ovation. The event was presented through a partnership between the symphony and the Black History Museum & Cultural Center of Virginia.