CHARLESTON (AP) — A lecture that will include West Virginia’s first black lawyer is set for the state Division of Culture and History in Charleston.
The Charleston Gazette reports Charleston lawyer Tom Rodd will present the lecture on J.R. Clifford on Tuesday night at the Culture Center’s Archives and History Library.
Rodd’s play, “J.R. Clifford and the Carrie Williams Case,” has been performed throughout the state.
A native of Williamsport, Clifford won the country’s first ruling against racial discrimination in school terms and teacher pay when he represented a black teacher from Tucker County in 1898.
The Civil War veteran and educator also established the state’s first black newspaper in 1882. In 1887, he became the first black to pass the West Virginia bar exam.