By DAVE McMILLION
Staff Writer, Martinsburg
MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - J.R. Clifford is not well-known here, but residents this week will have a chance to learn more about the attorney who fought for equal rights for black students in the late 1800s.
It wasn't until 1954 that the Supreme Court struck down segregated schools in its landmark Brown vs. Board of Education decision, but Clifford tackled the issue in 1896.
Berkeley County Circuit Court Judge David Sanders and others have scheduled a free historical presentation on Clifford's life for Friday.
Although Clifford didn't convince the West Virginia Supreme Court that segregated schools were unconstitutional, he won a case before the court in 1898. Justices agreed it was wrong to give white students a longer school term than blacks.