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J-Talks & the J-Men’s Group present…A Place Called Ilda: Race and Resilience at a Northern Virginia Crossroads

Friday, May 10 @ 1:00 pm 2:00 pm

Featuring author Tom Shoop, writer, editor, historian and recovering journalist

Did you ever wonder about the history of the land on which the Pozez JCC now sits? It is more fascinating and significant than you might realize. This spot was once the center of a racially integrated, and now largely forgotten, community known as Ilda. The village was established after the Civil War by two Black entrepreneurs and their families, who provided the economic engine for its initial success—a blacksmith shop. Ilda flourished as a racially integrated community before the Jim Crow era. “A Place Called Ilda” weaves together accounts of horse thievery, attempted murder, savage beatings, hate crimes, and a long-forgotten cemetery. This gripping and often moving narrative provides a rich and unusually detailed record of the rise, decline, and rediscovery of a crossroads whose secrets and mysteries depict an America that might have been — and might still be.

Tom Shoop will give a brief presentation about the book and his research, with Q&A to follow. A book sale and signing will take place after the presentation.

Fee: Complimentary, however registration is greatly appreciated.

Questions? Contact:

Adult Enrichment

Shari Berman



Pozez Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia

8900 Little River Turnpike
Fairfax, VA 22031
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