Friends of Blackwater’s is offering copies of the recently published “Stories from West Virginia’s Civil Rights History,” by Tom Rodd, to schoolteachers across the state — for FREE! The stories are suitable for middle- and high-school students, and include vocabulary and discussion sections. The stories are “J.R. Clifford and the Carrie Williams Case,” and a story on the creation of West Virginia in the midst of the Civil War titled “A New Home for Liberty.”
Printing costs were covered by a Community Participation Grant from the West Virginia Legislature and a grant from the West Virginia Humanities Council allows Friends of Blackwater to distribute the books at no cost.
In addition, the grant allowed us to hold a special event on October 30, 2015 at the West Virginia University Law School — celebrating the life of Carrie Williams. Carrie Williams was an African American school teacher who taught in the Town of Coketon, at the head of the Blackwater Canyon. She and her lawyer J.R. Clifford challenged limited schooling for black children in Tucker County, and won in front of the West Virginia Supreme Court in 1898, setting a national precedent!! Her descendants attended the October celebration and received a citation in her honor!
For more information about the book and the October event, please visit http://www.jrclifford.org. You can also find The J.R. Clifford Project on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/jrcliffordproject/
Friends of Blackwater
501 Elizabeth Street, Charleston, WV 25311
Phone: 304-345-7663 x2