Race Relations

William Ronald Pulliam, 65, in court as he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for shooting 15-year-old James Means to death in Charleston’s East End.
Kenny Kemp / Charleston Gazette-Mail

For the past three years, the Us & Them team has tracked the case of James Means, the 15-year-old boy who was shot and killed by 62-year-old William Pulliam on the East End of Charleston, W.Va.

The case got national attention partly because Pulliam is white and Means was black. This week, the story came to a sad unexpected conclusion.

The Black Talk

Feb 13, 2019

How old were you when you first learned that police may think of you as a threat? You’ve never been told that? Chances are you’re not African American. In this episode, Trey Kay examines “The Black Talk,” which is the sober conversation that many black families have with their teenage kids – particularly teenage boys – about how they should conduct themselves when stopped by the police.

Charleston Police Car

Officers with the Charleston Police Department are set to undergo a two-week training course in race relations.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that the training, which began Monday, is part of an initiative by the Call to Action for Racial Equality coalition and Charleston police to improve race relations in the city. Over the next two weeks, organizers plan to train every member of the Charleston PD.

The State of Race Relations in West Virginia

Jul 27, 2016

On West Virginia Morning, a discussion about race relations in West Virginia from two young black women.  One talks with two leaders at West Virginia University about the Black Lives Matter movement and a senior at West Virginia State University talks about her experience with racism. 

These stories on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, in the wake of the shooting deaths of two black men by white police officers, officers of the Charleston Police Department met with local clergy to talk about race relations.  And in Huntington, officials are fighting back against drug trafficking.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

In just the past few weeks, we’ve seen communities across the country continue to react to the deaths of two black men killed by police officers. Grand juries in both Ferguson, Missouri, and Staten Island, New York, decided not to indict two white officers in the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, sparking protests and riots in not just those communities, but many others.

In West Virginia, protests have been small and peaceful, but that doesn’t mean law enforcement officers aren’t taking seriously the possibility of a similar situation happening in the state. 

Sixty Years Ago: Black and White at East-West

Sep 25, 2014
Team Rosters - First Meeting of Negro, White Team Set For Tonight
Courtesy D. D. Meighen

Sixty years ago this week, two Marion County Schools - Dunbar High School and Fairmont Senior High School - met for the first – and last – time on the football field. Local historians say it was the first gridiron meeting in West Virginia of an all-black school and an all-white school. It came amid the tensions surrounding that year’s landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling on school segregation.