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Employment Discrimination Justice Center

http://groups.blackplanet.com/justice

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This is a group dedicated to fighting workplace discrimination. We act as a watchdog group as well as one which protects persons rights through legal action.


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natedoggg2002

***** IN HONOR OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER WHO FOUGHT FOR EQUAL RIGHTS IN THE CITY OF ROANOKE, VIRGINIA, MY GRANDFATHER, THE REVEREND. DR. RAYMOND R. WILKINSON ***** CLICK ON THE WEBSITE BELOW TO VIEW A PIECE OF NAACP HISTORY >>>>>

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v =OZGmAFJg4_8




To View a Piece of History click on this Historic Video Footage Above of Roanoke, Virginia's brave Civil Rights Leader, My Grandfather the REVEREND. DR. RAYMOND R. WILKINSON (1923-1993) also known as (REV. R.R. WILKINSON) Preaching at a NAACP Civil Rights Rally meeting on May 25Th 1963 while fighting for Freedom, Justice, Equality, Integration, and Desegregation. While serving as Pastor of Hill Street Baptist Church for 33 years, Rev. Dr. Raymond R. Wilkinson was also President of the NAACP Chapter in Roanoke, Virginia from 1959 to 1969. Reverend. Dr. Raymond R. Wilkinson Spearheaded the Charge for Equal Rights for African Americans in Roanoke, Virginia during the 1960s Civil Rights Movement.


Beginning in the Spring of 1960, the Rev. Raymond R. Wilkinson established a Bi-Racial Committee made up of Black & White Preachers and Doctors who's main purpose were to Desegregate and Integrate Department Drug Stores, Lunch Counters, Movie Theaters, Hotels, and Hospital's in the city of Roanoke, Virginia and achieve Equal Rights for all races of Color. To achieve this goal, the Rev. Raymond R. Wilkinson would hold Secret meetings at Night daily with White Business Owners and City Leaders to Negotiate plans to help smooth over the Integration process in Roanoke, Virginia. Rev. Raymond R. Wilkinson's Strategy worked and the results of those private behind the scenes meetings also help to keep the peace and avoid racial violence and demonstrations in the streets of Roanoke. Slowly but surely, white only department drug stores and white local business owners started to integrate and accept African Americans as Equal customers in their stores. A CHANGE had Started in Roanoke, Virgina.


The NAACP next effort towards Desegregation was to Integrate Roanoke, Virginia's public schools. So in the summer of 1960, the Roanoke Branch of the NAACP led by Rev. Raymond R. Wilkinson begin a campaign to register and enroll elementary and junior high school African American students into Roanoke's White only schools. Rev. Raymond R. Wilkinson even enrolled his own 2 Daughters into Melrose Elementary School which was also a White only school at the time. He enrolled his 2 daughters in the fall of 1960 as an example, so that his own children could learn and someday know the Historical Significance of the steps they were taking. The school Integration in Roanoke went on without any major incidents. But after great opposition and many debates from Roanoke City Officials and the Roanoke City Council, the Board of Education agreed to only a 5 year Integration plan slowing down the process of Integrating all Public Schools in Roanoke, Virginia. The NAACP and Rev. Raymond R. Wilkinson did not agree on this process because they thought it would be too slow, and they were right. Despite the disappointment, a Historical Milestone had been made to Desegregate and Integrate African Americans into most public schools in Roanoke, Virginia. But because of the 5 year Integration plan, it would take nearly 10 years until every single school in Roanoke, Virginia would be fully Integrated.


The NAACP and Rev. Raymond R. Wilkinson's next battle against Racial Injustice in Roanoke, Virginia came in the Spring of 1963. Their goal was to get Roanoke City Council to move the DUMP and Garbage that was filled up with Trash and Unsanitary sewage near Black Neighborhoods in Washington Park. At first the city council agreed to set a date to move the dumb to a new site in June 1st of 1963. All of a sudden, the city council Changed the date to 1964 of next year to slow down the process to remove the Dump. Rev. Raymond R. Wilkinson saw this move by Roanoke City Council as just another stalemate, just as the Board of Education did with their so called 5 year Integration Plan to slow down the Integration of Roanoke Public Schools. He did not want to see another effort come to a standstill again. So when Roanoke City Council refused to take any action, Rev. Raymond R. Wilkinson then Challenged and Threaten the Roanoke City Council. Rev. Raymond R. Wilkinson warned the City Council that if nothing was done to move the Dump away from Black Homes, that he would plan a Protest and Demonstration March to the Roanoke City incinerator to STOP Dump trucks from coming in by forming a line filled with Women and Children chained together hand in hand to BLOCK all Dump Trucks! After that threat of protest and demonstration made by Rev. Raymond R. Wilkinson, the city council finally agreed to move the Dump site away from Black Neighborhoods in Washington Park and reset the date to move the Dump back to the original June 1st date of 1963.


Later in November of 1963 the Rev. Raymond R. Wilkinson also challenged Roanoke City Council to hire African Americans for Employment Opportunities at White Only establishments with Equal Pay. The Rev. Raymond R. Wilkinson also pushed hard for Integration of Black Teachers with Equal Pay in White only schools. When the NAACP saw that there was no African American firefighters, sanitation workers, and that Department Drug Stores and Lunch Counters had no Black employees there either; Rev. Raymond R. Wilkinson addressed Roanoke City Council to correct the situation. When Roanoke City Council refused to act again. Rev. Raymond R. Wilkinson warned them once again that he would plan a another protest and demonstration against those Establishments. To show Roanoke City Council that he was not bluffing, Rev. Raymond R. Wilkinson came up with a (Selective Buying) Strategy which means that Black Citizens agreed not to shop in stores that have not hired any African Americans! Fearing a Demonstration, Protest, and losing money due to Black Customers not shopping in their stores; it forced the Mayor of Roanoke, Virginia to step in to Negotiate with the NAACP and Rev. Raymond R. Wilkinson. So after private meetings with the Mayor and with City Officials, the city council agreed to the request to get White Business owners to hire African Americans at the Fire Department, Sanitation site, and in local Department Drug Stores. They also agreed to hire African American Teachers with Equal Pay. The struggle for Equal Employment for people of Color was Achieved and Roanoke, Virginia finally begin hiring African Americans in those establishments in Roanoke, Virginia.


The Final Great Battle towards full Desegregation and Integration in Roanoke, Virginia took place in March of 1964. When Rev. Raymond R. Wilkinson led the NAACP to Desegregate and Integrate Roanoke Memorial Hospital. But this would not be an easy mission. The NAACP and Rev. Raymond R. Wilkinson was up against Great Opposition and Heavy Racial Discrimination from the Roanoke City Council, from the President of Roanoke Memorial Hospital and from White local City Officials. All of them was against Desegregating and Integrating the Hospital. So after more Threats of Demonstrations and many more Debates towards Roanoke City Council. And after the city council refused to act yet again! With all of these forces standing against the NAACP, Rev. Raymond R. Wilkinson knew that this time around he had to take an even bigger stand and make a larger move in the struggle for Justice. He could not do this alone. He needed allies in his cause. So Rev. Raymond R. Wilkinson got to the phone and started calling for help. He called in an Army of Reinforcements to come to Roanoke, Virginia to assist him and the NAACP with the Battle to Integrate Roanoke Memorial Hospital. Soon Rev. Raymond R. Wilkinson and the NAACP had strong support and help in Roanoke, Virginia. Many Civil Rights Organizations had come to Roanoke, Virginia to support Rev. Raymond R. Wilkinson and the NAACP with this cause. And so, with the help & arrival of Local & Non Local NAACP Presidents from several different Branches in various counties in Virginia, the arrival of local and non local Preachers & Doctors both Black and White throughout Virginia and the South, the full support of the Mayor of Roanoke, Virginia, the arrival and support of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and with Great Persistence and Strategic Negotiation Tactics with the help of the Mayor; the Rev. Raymond R. Wilkinson even won over the support of some White City Officials within the City Council. All of these people came together in the name of Justice to help the NAACP and Rev. Raymond R. Wilkinson do Battle against the forces trying to keep Roanoke Memorial Hospital Segregated. With a Army of Support for Integration and after months of debates, Negotiations, and continued pressure from Rev. Raymond R. Wilkinson, the NAACP, the Mayor of Roanoke, the Bi-Racial Committee, and from various Civil Rights Groups throughout the South, victory was in sight. Finally in 1964 the President of Roanoke Memorial Hospital and the Roanoke City Council at last agreed to accept and allow complete Integration and full Desegregation of Roanoke Memorial Hospital. Now African American citizens of Roanoke,Virginia were able to get the same quality care as White citizens of Roanoke, Virginia at the same Hospital. The great Battle to Integrate Roanoke Memorial Hospital was Won! After the Integration of Roanoke Memorial Hospital, the racial barriers begin to fall throughout the city as more White Business owners started Hiring African Americans as employees and more opportunities for African Americans began to Explode. Change had finally come to Roanoke, Virginia!


REVEREND. DR. RAYMOND R WILKINSON (1923-1993)R.I.P.



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