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Teresa Walker Price
Providing an oasis for Black students in Charlottesville during segregation
One of the highlights of my time in Charlottesville, VA was spending a few hours with Teresa Walker Price.
When my adoptive dad talked about his time at UVA, Teresa usually came up. She was one of a few allies the Black medical students had at a time when Blacks weren’t allowed in Charlottesville’s restaurants, theaters and nightclubs. In a chapter about his UVA experience he wrote:
“[Teresa Walker] hosted many social events for African American graduate students. Teresa’s brother Eddie had a nightclub outside the city limits that was specifically for Black clientele. On the weekends we would go there and dance. The Walkers had a reputation for being an anchor for Black students. Their door was always open in you needed a place to escape, if you were hungry or simply needed someone to talk to.”
Teresa is now 96 and still sharp as a tack. She remembered my dad perfectly when I called her, and she invited me to visit her. She still lived in the same house where the Black students would hang out decades ago. She grew up in that house, and had never left.
She and her son reminisced about the social events, remembering my dad’s big laugh and warmth. They shared stories about Charlottesville during segregation, and about their own Black family’s local history. I was so happy to spend time with her, and tell her about my dad’s later years. I was able to audio record most of it (I hope to share some of that conversation in a future newsletter).
Best of all, we laughed a lot – something I needed after the emotional recognition ceremony a few hours before. My dad always loved a good laugh… I’m imagined him watching and chuckling along with us.
I’m so grateful to Teresa, and amazed at her vibrant energy and intact memory. What a treasure. Her story and what she gave to her community are truly an inspiration.