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  LORD  PLANT   MY  FEET  ON  HIGHER   GROUND                                   3  panels :  60" x 36",  60" x 40",  60" x 36".  Overall  dimensions :  60" x 112"



The contributions of Youth and Labor form the backbone of this panel. The setting is a composite of Fifth and Twelfth Streets in Lynchburg.

Many young people were frustrated by the slow pace of change and some pressed the leadership to use a more confrontational approach, - exemplified by David Cox’s raised Black Power fist. However constructive outlets were furnished by LynCAG through summer youth programs and the 1969 recreation program at the Marce T. Jones School.

Towards the foreground are clustered Cecelia Jackson, Owen Cardwell, Jr., Linda Woodruff and Brenda Hughes. They were the first African American students to integrate E. C. Glass High School in 1962. Lynchburg schools fully integrated in 1970.

In the 1960s there were very few employment opportunities for African Americans. Bates Ford is shown picketing the local A & P store for jobs. Walter Fore represents organized Labor participation.

An important source of information of civil rights meeting places was the radio. Fletcher Hubbard is shown in his role as announcer for WJJS, and also Robert Goins, who started a pirate radio station while still in high school.

Theodore Burton, Rev. Virgil Wood and Dr. G. F. Jackson were charter members of the Lynchburg Improvement Association.



The institution of the Black Church was a prime mover in the community struggle for justice and equality. Court Street and Diamond Hill Baptist Churches are representative of churches in Lynchburg from which issued forth the inspired leadership and committed foot soldiers of the Movement.

Shown on the first two rows are some of the major leaders of the Movement at that time. O. C. Cardwell, Sr., M. W. Thornhill, Jr., Rev. James I. Brooks, Hazelle Boulware, Charles M. L. Mangum, Junius A. Haskins, Jr., L. Garnell Stamps, and Rev. Haywood Robinson, Jr. They and others had the courage to step forward and take the risks necessary to forge change during that volatile period.

Hayes Hall of the Virginia Seminary and College forms a background for college presidents and faculty. Students participated in sit-ins and other demonstrations to open up public facilities.

Monument Terrace, leading down from the old Court House (with its segregated seating areas) and the Confederate sldier monument was the final gathering point of many protest marches.

During the late 1950s boycotts were conducted against businesses on Main Street to protest their racially exclusionary practices. In the right background are the stools of Patterson’s Drug Store where in 1960 and 1961 Virginia Seminary students tried to receive service and were refused.




Not all progress was made through direct confrontation. This panel shows educators such as Dr. C. W. Seay, (principal of Dunbar High School), Pauline Weeden Maloney, and Carl Hutcherson, Sr. (the first black member of the Lynchburg School Board). There were doctors. lawyers and businessmen and women who also made contributions. The poet Anne Spencer is shown, in the upper left, beside her garden cottage, Edankraal.


In the background are the Jones Memorial Library, (for whites only) and the Lynchburg General Hospital where the local African American physicians were not allowed to practice. Dr. R. Walter Johnson is shown with two of his tennis protégés, Arthur Ashe and Althea Gibson whom he trained on his private tennis court in Lynchburg. Public tennis courts and country clubs were closed to them because of their race.

Until the late 1960s

the City of Lynchburg operated separate recreational facilities for the two races. On the 4th of July 1961 Olivet Lee Thaxton challenged that rule by peacefully leading several youngsters to the Miller Park (whites only) pool to swim. In response, the pool was immediately closed by the authorities and subsequently all three public swimming pools were permanently filled in with earth.

Voter registration was a key to increasing political power. Delores Fowler, Anne Wesley, Clarice Banks and Yvonne Ferguson worked valiantly in that area.


Artist:  Ann  van de Graaf ;  Medium: oil on canvas

Watch the video on Youtube: follow the link: 


The  three panel  triptych  is  painted  in  a  symbolist  style,  conceived  as  a  visual  expression  of  a  spiritually  inspired  thought.  It  is  a  unique,  historic,  well  researched  portrayal  of  the significant  people,  events  and  landmarks  that  generated  the  actions  leading  to  greater  racial  equity  in  Lynchburg  during  the  1960s  and  '70s.


In  a  colorful,  dynamic  way  the  painting  conveys  the  courage,  determination  and  dedicated  optimism  of  African  Americans  of  the  period  who  rallied  to  the  nonviolent  movement  of  Dr.  Martin  Luther  King,  Jr.,  and  took  to  the  streets  to  dramatize  their  cause.


The  artist  was  a  close  observer  and  participant  in  the  events  leading  up  to  social  change  at  that  time.  She  personally  knew  most  of  the  individuals  portrayed  in  the  work.


Seventy  five  of  the  figures  are  memory  portraits  of  key  individuals,  others  represent  significant  groups  such  as  church  choirs,  welfare  mothers  and  youth  participants  who  were  such  an  integral  part  of  the  struggle.  Many  who  are  not  shown  in  the  work  also  played  significant  roles  and  are  represented  by  the  more  abstract  figures.


Landmarks  at  the  top  of  the  painting  were  rallying  points  for  change  in  the  status  quo.  Many  of  the  structures  including  Dunbar  High  School,  Hayes  Hall  of  the  Virginia  Seminary,  the  Marce  T.  Jones  School,  Patterson's  Drug  Store  and  the  Lynchburg  Community  Action  Building  are  no  longer  standing.


The  three  panels  together  form  a  whole,  though  each  panel  portrays  a  certain  aspect  of  the  Movement  and  can  stand  alone.  The  left  hand  panel's  focus  is  on  the  young  people  and  Labor's  struggle;  the  central  panel  portrays  the  main  leaders,  backed  up  by  a  host  of  folk  streaming  from  churches  and  homes;  and  in  the  right  hand  panel  are  the  school  officials,  doctors  and  voter  registration  leaders.  Through  the  use   of  color  and  design  the  work  portrays  the  interweaving  spirit  that  unites  all  in  a  common  goal., -- Freedom.

Key to the People and Places Depicted on the Painting

  1   O. C. Cardwell, Sr.

  2   M. W. Thornhill, Jr.

  3   James I. Brooks

  4   Hazelle Boulware

  5   Charles M. L. Mangum

  6   Junius Allen Haskins, Jr.

  7   L. Garnell Stamps

  8   Haywood Robinson, Jr.

  9   Essie Everette Gordon

  10 Georgia Woodruff  Barksdale

  11 Evelyn Chambers

  12 Robert Winfrey

  13 Jeanette Franklin

  14 Danny McCain

  15 Bertha Dickerson

  16 Margaret Patterson

  17 Mary Payne

  18 Shirley Gray

  19 Donald Winston Johnson

  20 Artis Appling

  21 Charles Green

  22 Ralph Reavis

  23 W. W. Roberts

  24 Madeline Thompson

 25 Lanksford Hankins, Sr.



51 Evelyn Coles

52 Mildred Shelton

53 Robert "Mad Lad" Goins

54 C. W. Seay

55 Pauline Weeden Maloney

56 Yvonne Thornhill Ferguson

57 Clarice Wilson Banks

58 Delores Colmore Fowler

59 Anne R. Wesley

60 Susie Keats Collins

61 William Gordon

62 Carl B. Hutcherson, Sr.

63 Aurelia Langhorne

64 Virginia W. Hughes

65 Jim Young

66 Thomas R. Mack

67 E. Eldorado Johnson

68 Robert C. Wesley, Sr.

69 Olivet Lee Thaxton

70 Lycurcus Carey

71 Clarissa Wimbush

72 Anne Spencer

73 R. Walter Johnson

74 Althea Gibson

75 Arthur Ashe, Jr.




26 Samuel Trimiar

27 Hiawatha Johnson, Sr.

28 David Cox

29 Virgil A. Wood

30 Theodore Burton

31 George Frank Jackson, Sr.

32 Cecelia Jackson

33 Owen Cardwell, Jr.

34 Linda Woodruff

35 Brenda Hughes Andrews

36 Fletcher Hubbard, Sr.

37 Kenneth Oglesby

38 Walter M. Fore, Jr.

39 William Walthall, Jr.

40 Robert "Bip" Daniels

41 Glen Webster

42 Bates Houston Ford

43 John Miller, Jr.

44 Christopher Sharp

45 Leroy Roberts

46 Frank Poindexter Lewis

47 Harry Ferguson

48 M. C. Allen

49 Mildred Saunders Dyson

50 M. C. Southerland




A  12th  &  5th  Streets

B  Bible Way Church of God

C  Barbershop

D  Sportsman's Club

E  Hunton YMCA

F  Robert Ladd Goins'  home

G  LynCAG  Office

H  Marce T. Jones School

I   Hayes Hall,  Virginia Seminary

    and College

J   Monument Terrace & Court


K  Court Street Baptist Church

L  Diamond Hill Baptist Church

M  Patterson's Drug Store

N  Edankraal,1313 Pierce Street

O  Dunbar High School

P  Jones Memorial Library

Q  Lynchburg General Hospital


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