In a “Happy First Day of School” message posted on Richmond Public School’s website, Superintendent Jason Kamras describes spending part of his summer in Hokkaido, Japan, where his mother-in-law, Megumi, grew up.
“While there, we had the opportunity to experience a formal tea ceremony, a beautifully choreographed and almost spiritual event,” he wrote. “Underlying the ceremony are four principles: Wa, Kei, Sei, and Jaku — which translate to harmony, respect, purity, and tranquility.
“I can’t think of four better principles to guide us this year. I pray that we all find harmony amidst the many competing professional and personal demands we face every day; respect for ourselves, and for our students, colleagues, loved ones, and for those with whom we disagree; purity of heart in our commitment to embracing every single student — no matter the language they speak at home, how much money their family has, the color of their skin, whether LGBTQ or not — with love and high expectations; and tranquility despite the storms that sometimes surround us.
“Harmony, respect, purity, tranquility — and, of course, love — is my prayer for the RPS family this year. Please hold these four principles tight — during the highs and the lows — and please hold me accountable for doing the same. If we do, I truly believe this is going to be our best year yet!”
Mr. Kamras and Mayor Levar M. Stoney were among city leaders who greeted students on the first day of the 2023-24 school year at John Marshall High School on Monday.
After a fire on 2nd Street last week, the remains of a building stand next to the famous Hippodrome Theater in Jackson Ward. Originally built in 1913, the Hippodrome became part of Jackson Ward being known as the “Harlem of the South,” a reference to its Black heritage, culture and its musical tradition. In its heyday, entertainers such as Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington performed at the Hippodrome. More recently the venue hosted the RVA Rapper’s Delight event in homage to the 50th anniversary of hip-hop music in Richmond and elsewhere.
Giant hibiscus in the East End
It was one big party Saturday at the Elegba Folklore Society’s 32nd Down Home Family Reunion at Abner Clay Park in Jackson Ward.
Jarene Fleming and her dance partner Richard Day, below, also of Richmond, felt the rhythm of Louisiana-based group, Dikki Du & the Zydeco Krewe. The group had one of the many performances that got the crowd moving during the event.
Elaine Brown, 71, of Jackson Ward came prepared to party with her whistle in tow.
William Carter of Chesterfield and his 3-year-old Lizzie also took in the city’s dog days of summer.
Donna Ingram enjoys fish with her sister, Consuela McRae, center, and her daughter, Diamond Ingram.
Maggie Walker High School class of 1966 class- mates Yvonne Wingfield and Charles Gilmore, below, smile for the camera Saturday at a Short Pump restaurant. The trio were among 40 classmates expected to join the fun for lunch and an in- formal program focused on “10 years of food, fun and fellowship.” Maggie Walker High School’s Class of 1966 has gathered for luncheons over the past decade, exclud- ing the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.