Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Who is J. R. Clifford?

One of West Virginia's greatest lawyers. This African-American civil rights pioneer was born in 1848 near what is now Moorefield WV. He fought for the Union Army in the civil war at age 15. He attended Storer College in Harper's Ferry. In 1882 he started publishing the Pioneer Press.

In 1887 he was admitted to the bar by the West Virginia Supreme Court and in 1898 he won equal rights in education for black West Virginians in the landmark case Williams v. Board of Education. This was 50 years before Brown v. Board of Education brought those rights to the rest of the country.

Clifford went on to help found the Niagara Movement in 1906, a precursor to the NAACP.

It's Black History month and we at WVSLA celebrate our state's rich history of leading the south toward political equality and justice for African Americans. Thank you J. R. Clifford!

For lots more information check out the J. R. Clifford project online at www.jrclifford.org/index.html

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