Civil Rights

Flickr / davidwilson1949

A long-time advocate for civil rights among African-Americans in West Virginia has passed away.

James Alvin Tolbert Sr, passed away last week in hospice care in Kearneysville. He was 85.

At a time when the President of the United States questions the patriotism of African American football players protesting social injustice, we present the civil rights struggle of another African American who, nearly 50 years ago, broke a color barrier in the NFL — James "Shack" Harris, the first black player in NFL history to earn a job as starting quarterback.

Malepheasant / wikimedia Commons

Attorneys for a lesbian couple say they're receiving a public apology and $10,000 in damages from a county clerk's office in West Virginia where they were disparaged when applying for a marriage license last year. Amanda Abramovich and Samantha Brookover sued Gilmer County Deputy Clerk Debbie Allen and Clerk Jean Butcher, saying Allen told the couple while processing their application that they were an "abomination," what they were doing was wrong and that God would "deal" with them.

Franklin Cleckley, Franklin D. Cleckley, West Virginia Supreme Court
West Virginia Supreme Court

Franklin D. Cleckley, the West Virginia Supreme Court's first black justice, has died at age 77, the court announced Tuesday.

The court said in a news release that Cleckley died at his Morgantown home on Monday. No cause of death was given.

West Virginia Supreme Court chamber
West Virginia Judiciary

The West Virginia Supreme Court has upheld dismissal of felony civil rights charges against a former Marshall University football player accused in a 2015 attack on two men he saw kissing.

The justices voted 3-2 Tuesday to send the case of Steward Butler back to Cabell County Circuit Court for further disposition.

e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

Civil rights leader Leon Sullivan died on April 24, 2001, at age 78. The Charleston native graduated from Garnet High School and West Virginia State College before being trained in the ministry at Union Theological Seminary and Columbia University. In 1950, he became minister of Philadelphia’s Zion Baptist Church. During his 38 years at Zion Baptist, the church grew into one of the nation’s largest congregations.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

On Civil Rights Day at the Capitol, Local members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the HOPE Community Development Corporation met to persuade lawmakers to advance legislation that benefits the minority community.


Steward Butler
AP Photo/Chris Tilley

The West Virginia Supreme Court has chosen not to rule on whether a former Marshall University football player accused of assaulting two gay men after he saw them kissing on a city street can be charged with a hate crime.

The Herald-Dispatch reports the order was issued Feb. 9 in Steward Butler's case.

Alabama Public Television

In cooperation with the Alabama Public Television's IQ learning network, students are able to join in to see first hand the sixth episode of Project C: Lessons from the American Civil Rights Movement: The Montgomery Bus Boycott. In this episode of the Electronic Field Trip, student reporters lead viewers on a journey through Montgomery, visiting the Rosa Parks Museum and other historic sites pivotal to the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

Shepherd University

Poet and activist Nikki Giovanni  loves several things about Appalachia: its defense of freedom, and how the people here know when enough is enough in regards to material wealth.

Zion Episcopal Church

Civil Rights activist Ruby Sales is coming to Charles Town Saturday to speak to the community and open up a dialogue on racism and injustice.

Lauren Stonestreet, of Elle Effect Photography

 

In this episode, we’ll travel to Maryland to forage- and eat- wild Pawpaws

And we’ll learn about Anne Braden, one of the early advocates for social equality in Kentucky.

We'll also hear about a new company in West Virginia that’s revived a historic salt-works -and why chefs are loving it.

Paul Hess, WVVA-TV News

A national Muslim civil rights organization is calling on state and federal law enforcement to investigate the vandalism of a West Virginia mosque as a possible hate crime.

The Mercer County Sheriff’s Department is looking for vandals after the Islamic Society of Appalachian Region near Princeton was spray painted earlier this week.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, wants the FBI to join investigators.

Clark Davis

The clerk of West Virginia's biggest county says she needs more time to answer a lawsuit over the state's ban on same-sex marriages.
 
     Kanawha County Clerk Vera McCormick filed a motion in U.S. District Court in Charleston, asking the deadline for her response be extended past Wednesday.
 
     The New York-based gay rights group Lambda Legal sued earlier this month, declaring West Virginia's Defense of Marriage Act a violation of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
 

  Civil Rights Activist Joan C. Browning visited Marshall this week as part of constitution week. The Freedom Rider told her story on the 50th anniversary of the rides.

Joan C. Browning was a Freedom Rider. The Riders were a group of men and women who boarded buses and trains headed for the Deep South in 1961 to test the 1960 Supreme Court ruling outlawing segregation in interstate public facilities. What makes Browning’s perspective different though is that she’s Caucasian.