Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares tours Historic Gainsboro Neighborhood

Published: Sep. 15, 2023 at 5:25 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - During Attorney General Jason Miyares’ visit to the Star City, he toured the Historic Gainsboro Neighborhood.

Roanoke City officials joined Miyares in visiting Civil Rights Attorney Oliver Hill’s childhood home.

Hill was born in Richmond, but he considered Roanoke his childhood home. Hill won his first civil rights case in 1940. By the early ‘50s, he and other attorneys fought segregation in Prince Edward County, one of the cases that would lead them to the Supreme Court in the landmark Brown vs. Board of Education decision.

Miyares said Hill was one of his legal heroes and called Hill one of the greatest Virginians to ever live.

Leaders then visited Henry Street - an area affected by Urban Renewal in the 50s and 60s.

“...That horrific chapter in American and Virginia history where we did not treat our fellow man and our fellow Virginian as an equal citizen,” said Miyares. “And is a stark reminder of where we were, how far we’ve come, and the work we need to continue to do.”

The tour ended at the Dumas Center, built in 1917, is a landmark on Henry Street and formerly the hub of the city’s African-American community.