Fighting for Freedom – News, opinion, resources


The Robert C, Byrd Center featured “Fighting for Freedom: Jefferson County African-Americans in World War I” Friday morning and afternoon.

Along with highlighting speakers from across the East Coast, the event honored the life and legacy of James Alvin Tolbert of Charles Town, who was the secretary and one of the four founding members of the Jefferson County Black History Preservation Society. Fellow founders George Rutherford and Jim Taylor presented a plaque in recognition of James’ service to the local African American community to James’ wife, Shirley Tolbert, and one of his three sons, Charles Town Council Member Michael Tolbert.

“A lot of people say the modern civil rights movement started with World War II veterans. We say it started with the World War I veterans,” said Taylor, who…

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