African Americans

e-WV Encyclopedia

Activist and physician Martin Delany was born a free African-American at Charles Town in Jefferson County on May 6, 1812. When Delany was 10, his family had to flee Charles Town for violating a Virginia law that forbid educating blacks. They settled in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, and Delany eventually moved on to Pittsburgh, where he became a medical assistant.

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

A report about The Block, a historical district in Charleston once the heart of the city’s African-American community and more state history from Hinton in Summers County.  From Wheeling,  a report on a community garden specifically designed to be tended by the visually impaired and Marshall University's football team is expected to do well this season. 

courtesy of C.H. James III

The Block Historical District is a section of Charleston that was once the heart of the African American community. As part of a project to resurrect some of the history of this neighborhood, the West Virginia Center for African American Art and Culture has organized a series of lectures. About 60 people attended the second of these talks last week.  

Charles James III is the fourth generation in his family to own and operate one of the oldest family-owned businesses in the United States, the James company. James said that he remembers being invited to the local country club in the late 80's. But his father in an earlier generation was not asked to join until the 80's.

Jaime Rinehart, of the WVSU EDC.

The first of Tom Toliver’s gardens is in what looks like an unlikely place—there’s a lumber mill across the street, a busy road without sidewalks, and the garden itself is nudged in between a pawn shop and a DeWalt tool center. Along 6th street, a mom and her two kids walk by carrying groceries from the nearby Family Dollar. Toliver also lives down the street. He believes that putting gardens in urban areas, like Charleston’s West Side, helps reduce crime and revitalize the neighborhood.

African Americans featured in 6-part TV special

Oct 19, 2013
Press tour photo
Courtesy of Rahoul Ghose/PBS

A new six-part series titled The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross will chronicle the full sweep of African-American history. Beginning with the origins of slavery, the series will present four centuries of truly remarkable historic events up to present day.

The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross will air Tuesdays at 8 p.m. beginning Oct. 22 on WV PBS.