historic photo of JR Clifford and other attendees of the Niagara Conference

Who was J.R. Clifford?

John Robert Clifford was West Virginia‚Äôs first African-American attorney, a newspaper publisher, editor and writer, a schoolteacher and principal, a civil rights pioneer, a founding member of the Niagara Movement (forerunner to the NAACP), a Civil War veteran, and a graduate of Storer College. Clifford was born in 1848, near what is now Moorefield, West […]

the courthouse in Parsons is pictured at left, and a historical marker about the court case Williams v. Board of Education is at right

The Coketon Colored School

Located along the North Fork outside of Thomas, the Coketon Colored School was a two room school house that played an important role in West Virginia’s civil rights history. The town of coketon was named after “coke”, the coal-based fuel product that was the town’s major export. A small African American community formed around coal […]