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Virginia’s role in the civil rights movement

RICHMOND, Va (WTVR) – While thousands gathered in Washington D.C., a much quieter scene unfolded at the State Capitol in Richmond.  A few tourists walked the grounds and state employees strolled passed Virginia’s monument to civil rights leaders from the Commonwealth.

Sitting just behind the capitol building, the Civil Rights Memorial honors the Virginians who helped fight for equal rights for minorities in the Commonwealth.

One of leaders memorialized is civil rights lawyer Oliver Hill.  Hill, who was born in Richmond, was a key figure in Brown vs. the Board of Education, the Supreme Court case that desegregated public schools in America.

Hill’s son, Oliver Hill Jr., still lives near Richmond, and said Virginia’s rich civil rights history is something to cherish.

Even though his father had already made great strides prior to Dr. King’s rise to prominence, the Brown vs. the Board of Education decision was in 1954,  Hill Jr. said the two men grew closer following Dr. King’s “I have a dream” speech.

Hill Jr. said both of their movements were truly unified following this day 50 years ago.


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