Early History of the JC NAACP
The Jefferson County Branch of the NAACP was organized and chartered in June 1946. To the best of anyone’s knowledge , this is the first time a civil rights group had been organized in Jefferson County, even though the second meeting of the Niagara Movement was held at Storer College in Harpers Ferry in 1906.
Among the charter members were: Rev. Marcus Wood, Rev. Elmer Dyson, Professor E. M. Dandridge, Mr. Ed Roper, Mrs. Ollie Tolbert, Mrs. Mary A .D. Taylor, Mrs. Virginia Green, and Rev. R.E.Gordon.
The first Branch president was Professor E.M.Dandridge, science teacher at Page Jackson High School and later the school principal. Rev. Marcus Wood, pastor of Wainwright Baptist Church was vice president. Presidents who followed were Rev. Wood and Rev. Dyson.
Branch Desegregation Activities
The Branch was successful in getting the Jefferson County Circuit Court to put Blacks on the petit and grand juries. It was also successful in getting interstate buses desegregated. The local branch, in cooperation with the State Conference of the NAACP, was actively involved in the 1948 incident where a Black couple from Philadelphia were forcefully ejected from a N&W passenger train near Shenandoah Junction and the husband killed in cold blood by a Jefferson County Constable, John Brown. The branch had to borrow $50.00 from the Martinsburg NAACP branch to help bring in attorney and State president T.G.Nutter to the County. The Nutter investigation was going well until the widow decided to obtain another attorney and then dropped her suit against the railroad. The community felt the shooting was unjustified and was very disappointed that the widow dropped the suit. The facts of the killing still have not been resolved.
In 1950, following the shooting incident , the Branch became inactive. In the period between 1950 and 1963, the Jefferson County Civic League was organized and continued working on desegregation efforts and obtaining equal opportunities for Blacks. In October 1963, The Jefferson County NAACP was rechartered following a public mass meeting at the Zion Baptist Church in Charles Town. Bishop Eugene Baltimore, pastor of King Apostle Church in Ranson was elected president and Lester Taylor of Harpers Ferry , vice-president.
Chitlin’s Circuit Music
The Jefferson County Black History Preservation Society will sponsor an evening of Chitlin’ Circuit music on Saturday, August 8 from 7 to 9pm. The location is the rear yard of the Fisherman Hall at the corner ofSouth West Street and West Academy Street in Charles Town. Local DJ Vincent Hosby will provide the music. All music will be pre 1964 thatwas played during the Chitlin’ Circuit era. Please bring your lawn chair or blanket to sit on.
The Chitlin Circuit is the collective name given to the string of performance venue throughout the eastern, southern and upper mid-western area of the United States that were safe and acceptable for African-American musicians, comedians and other entertainers to perform during the age of racial segregation in the United States.
Jefferson County WV, is considered by many to be the gateway to the Chitlin’ Circuit. After the performers left New York, Philadelphia and Washington, DC, Jefferson County was one of the first stops going south. Some of the artist that stayed in the Payne Hotel and performed in the area were: Ike and Tina Turner, Lloyd Price, Little Richard, JamesBrown, Bullmoose Jackson, the Clovers, Lynn Hope and Faye Adams. This program is part of the Jefferson County African American Culture and Heritage Festival.
Dates: August 7-8 2015
Location: Charles Town, West Virginia
The WV State Conference will be held at:
* Fisherman Hall * Southwest & Academy Streets
- * Registration begins at 9:00 am on Friday, August 7th
- * The conference will end at 12 noon on Saturday, August 8th
* On Friday night at 7 pm, the banquet will be held at the Wainwright Baptist Church, 413 West Avis Street, across the street from Fisherman Hall.
* Banquet tickets $30.
* Contact: email@example.com
- ** State Conference Registration Fee is $15.00 for all Branches. Delegate Fee is $15 per person.
- ** Branches should plan to send at least two delegates.
Friday, August 15
2:00—5pm Job Fair @ Star Lodge Masonic Hall
7:00pm-8:30pm Gospel Extravaganza @ Betty Roper
Auditorium (Sponsored by the Skinner Law Firm)
7:00-10:00pm Youth Block Park (festival ground)
Saturday, August 16
9am-11am Kids Workshop (Sponsored by Home
10am –2pm Health Fair by Health Pact of Wash. DC
12:00 Noon Parade kickoff
2:00 Opening Ceremony
2:15-3:00 Marching bands presentations
2:00-5pm Free pony rides and moon bounce
3:00-4:00 Karl Miller Gospel Revue
4:00-4:15 Free give a ways and announcements
4:30-5:30 OTB (Off the Block) Local R&B band
5:30 Free give a ways and announcements
5:45-6:30 OTB Band
7:00-8:30 Concert featuring Brother +1 Band
(Sponsored by Hollywood Casino at Charles Town
Sunday, August 17
8:00am Niagara Movement Pilgrimage at the Murphy
Farm,- Harpers Ferry National Historic Park
9:30 am Memorial Service (a memorial service will be
held at the Curtis Freewill Baptist Church located on
the former Storer College campus. immediately after