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"Come to Cappahosic..."

Makazi Fellows will study in residence at Cappahosic, in the Georgian Style retirement home of the late Dr. Robert Russa Moton. Located in Gloucester County, Virginia and known affectionately as "Holly Knoll," the elegant manor house overlooks the York River.


Holly Knoll is listed on both the Virginia and the National Historic registries. But even this prestigious recognition cannot begin to attest to the great historical significance of Holly Knoll to the African American community.


Holly Knoll is acknowledged by historians as the "cradle of the American Civil Rights Movement." In 1935, Dr. Moton retired as the second President of Tuskeegee Institute (now University), and Holly Knoll began its long history of welcoming leaders of the African American political, intellectual, and entertainment community. During Dr. Moton’s time, guests would be summoned by elegantly engraved invitations that simply read, “Come to Cappahosic.”


After Dr. Moton’s death in 1940, his son-in-law Frederick Patterson established the Moton Conference Center to continue Dr. Moton’s work in education. Under Patterson Holly Knoll was expanded into a full conference center by adding residential space and training facilities.


Holly Knoll continued as the seat of cultural change in the Black community. During the 1950s and '60s, plans were made for the economic development of historically black colleges and universities, while a “think tank” continued from Dr. Moton’s days on social justice and other issues.


The United Negro College Fund was conceived at Holly Knoll, and Dr. Patterson became the first UNCF President. At Holly Knoll, strategies were planned for the desegregation of lunch counters. On a bench under the 400-year-old live oak, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is said to have drafted portions of the “I Have a Dream” speech.

Learn more about the loving restoration of historic Holly Knoll in this short video. 

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