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Genealogist Karice Luck-Brimmer to speak at Lyric Theatre

Karice Luck-Brimmer
Courtesy Karice Luck-Brimmer
Karice Luck-Brimmer

Genealogist Karice Luck-Brimmer has spent decades researching her family’s history and uncovering other stories from the African American community in Danville. She’ll be a featured guest Thursday March 28th at the Lyric Theatre in Blacksburg — part of an event sponsored by the Christiansburg Institute to honor Women’s History Month.

Luck-Brimmer said being a community historian is similar to being a detective. What started out as a quest to learn who her Black ancestors were, and where they came from, led her on a 20-year hunt through Danville’s history.

“For me, you know personally, until I did the research, I just felt like, I didn’t even know who I was,” Luck-Brimmer said. “Like, I didn’t have an identity.”

The stories she discovered gave her a sense of pride and a way of understanding her family’s connections with her neighbors. At the talk on Thursday, she’ll share tips on how to trace family history through oral histories, records and luck.

Her hope “is that everybody walks away and is ready to become their own family’s historian."

Joining Luck-Brimmer will be Heather Nicholson, who is part of the Montgomery County Community Review Council, a group working to uncover and tell the full story of the African American community in this part of Virginia.

“And that history is significant and holds so much value to the Blacksburg community, and it should be shared loudly,” Nicholson said.

She said in today’s political climate, reconnecting people with their own stories has power.

“Diverse histories are being further marginalized, and books are being banned throughout the country,” Nicholson said.

The talk begins Thursday at 7pm at the Lyric Theatre in Blacksburg. Audience members can ask questions and get advice on how to research family history. Registration is requested. Admission is free for students, with General Admission tickets coming in at $5 .

Roxy Todd is Radio IQ's New River Valley Bureau Chief.