A civil rights leader from Danville will be featured at the Louisa Chapter of the NAACP’s special Black History Month presentation on Feb. 9.
Bishop Lawrence Campbell and his wife, Gloria, will share firsthand stories of what it was like for black people and the battle for integration during the 1950s and 60s.
Campbell demonstrated for human rights and was arrested and jailed several times for protesting racist and unjust laws. He participated in sit-ins at lunch counters and variety stores and was instrumental in the successful integration of the Danville Library.
“Danville was segregated from the top to the bottom,” Campbell said in an interview Feb. 1. “Black people had to always be placed behind the white people.”
Campbell and others presented a list of demands to local leaders outlining what they wanted changed including advocating the hiring of black police officers, hospital workers and government employees.
“We became very tired and weary of being treated as second-class citizens, so we organized and protested,” he said.
A protest on June 10, 1963 turned violent when civil rights marchers stood outside the Danville jail to pray for those who had been arrested earlier that day during protests. In what became known as Bloody Monday, police officers, state troopers and deputized city workers injured nearly 50 people with the use of night sticks and high-pressure fire hoses.
Dr. Martin Luther King arrived in Danville the following day to support demonstrators, but decided against holding a march.
Campbell’s wife was one of the people who was beaten that night. She will also talk about what it was like at the NAACP’s presentation “March back into history.”
This is a partial article. Read the full story in The Central Virginian’s Feb. 7, 2019 issue.