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Local Leaders React to Oliver Hill Death

By: Jummy Olabanji Email
By: Jummy Olabanji Email

August 6, 2007

Oliver Hill, one of the country and the Commonwealth’s most notable civil rights lawyers, died at his home in Richmond the age of 100 this weekend.

“His legacy is one of persistent, committed action for justice and equality,” said Rick Turner, President of the Albemarle Chapter of the NAACP,” Even if you aren't a student of history, you know the mark that he made in regards to desegregation and integration in the commonwealth.”

Hill was a former Richmond city councilman; the first black person elected to that office since Reconstruction.

He played a vital role in the U.S. Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision in the 1950’s; a decision that ended school segregation.

As news of his death spread across the country, political leaders in the Commonwealth reflected on his life

Governor Tim Kaine said that, “Virginia has changed in remarkable and laudable ways during the last century and no person had more to do with that than Mr. Hill.”

Hill was a very close friend of former Virginia Governor Mark Warner, who in 2005 dedicated the Oliver W. Hill building in Richmond.

Warner says that,” With an unwavering sense of personal responsibility...Hill helped pave the way for equal opportunity in the commonwealth and the country.”

Turner said, “He didn't just live a long life, but he lived a life of justice, a life of action, a life of equality for all people.”

The Albemarle chapter of the NAACP plans to honor the late Oliver W. Hill at their freedom fund banquet in October.

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