1928 - Alderson High School - 1968




From The Greenbrier Historical Society - August 4, 2014
(Margaret Hambrick)

Photography really came into its own during the Civil War. Before then, there were few photographs of anyone or thing and almost none of African Americans. Even after the Civil War and for many years, photographs remained the purview of the wealthy and there are few of those who were considered second class citizens. Finding photographs which exist and using them to tell the heretofore “invisible” history of African Americans in the Greenbrier Valley is the mission of the “Invisible Roots and Legends: A Photographic View of African American History in Greenbrier Valley, West Virginia” exhibit.

The Greenbrier Historical Society (GHS) is excited to partner with the Cooper Gallery and Exhibit Curator and GHS Board Member Janice Cooley to present this unique exhibit of African American history in the Greenbrier Valley at the Cooper Gallery in Lewisburg from September 20th to October 4th, 2014.

Marilyn Cooper, owner of the Cooper Gallery, said, “When Janice came to me with this idea, it was very exciting and I am happy to partner in the development of the exhibit and to host it here at the Cooper Gallery. ”

The exhibit will consist of a collection of photographs and artifacts, from post- civil war to today, of African Americans who have contributed to the growth and development of this area in business, religion, education, sports, politics, and entertainment as well as general family life.

Janice Cooley, Exhibit Curator, said, “I have a passion for the history of African Americans in this area. My own roots go deep here and I realized that so many of my contemporaries as well as the younger generations had no idea of the struggles and achievements of our ancestors. If this information is not preserved, it will soon be lost.”

The exhibit will open with a reception beginning at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 20, 2014 and continue through October 4 at the Cooper Gallery in Lewisburg, WV.

PHOTO CAPTION: Students and Principal from the Christopher Payne School in Ronceverte, West Virginia prior to the end of segregation which ended in Greenbrier County in January 1956.


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