Virginia Changemakers
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African American Trailblazers 2009

Evelyn Butts

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Evelyn Thomas Butts led a successful challenge of Virginia’s poll tax all the way to the United States Supreme Court.

Edna Lewis

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Edna Lewis created nationwide interest in southern cuisine and demonstrated that food could be more than just nourishment, but also a celebration of…

John Cephas


John Cephas has become a world ambassador representing the Virginia Piedmont Blues tradition.

Oliver White Hill

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Oliver White Hill served as counsel in the groundbreaking Brown v. Board of Education case in 1954.

Claudia Whitworth


Claudia Alexander Whitworth has worked diligently over the decades to improve the quality of life in Roanoke.

Amaza Meredith


Amaza Lee Meredith broke through racial and gender barriers in architecture and artistic design.

Leland Melvin

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Leland D. Melvin inspires young people and encourages them to aspire to careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Dangerfield Newby

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Dangerfield Newby was one of five African Americans who took up arms against slavery with fellow abolitionist John Brown at Harpers Ferry, Virginia,…