Civil rights in Greenbrier County

51

The Greenbrier Historical Society, in partnership with the City of Lewisburg, is opening a new exhibit, “Civil Rights in Greenbrier County,” which examines the local civil rights movement and brings to light some of the hardships faced by local African Americans.

The exhibit opened on Feb. 4 in the lobby of Lewisburg City Hall to commemorate Black History Month. The public can view the exhibit Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. until May.

The exhibit focuses on the reality of life during the Jim Crow era in Greenbrier County and the fight for equality. It demonstrates the daily hardships endured by African Americans in every aspect of their lives. Jim Crow was a system of oppression that, while deeply felt in the South, also existed in Greenbrier County. The exhibit seeks to highlight the incredible strength and perseverance of black West Virginians who fought for equality. The Jim Crow era may be in the past, but in order to move forward, this painful history must be remembered.

The exhibit is curated by Sarah Shepherd, the Greenbrier Historical Society’s AFHA AmeriCorps member, with the support of GHS Executive Director Nora Venezky and Education Director and Curator Toni Ogden. Other support was provided by GHS board member Janice Cooley and community members Larry Baxter and Barbara Wooding with financial support by the City of Lewisburg.

Founded in 1963, the Greenbrier Historical Society is dedicated to community enrichment through education and preservation of the history and culture of the Greenbrier Valley. The Greenbrier Historical Society is a regional organization that serves the West Virginia counties of Greenbrier, Monroe, Summers, and Pocahontas.