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James S. Christian, Jr. (1918–1982)

Seen the marker at Oakwood/P/Chimborazo and wondered about James S. Christian, Jr.?

From the Encyclopedia Virginia:

James S. Christian represented the city of Richmond in the House of Delegates from 1978 until his death in 1982.

A veteran of World War II (1939–1945), he was the first African American from Richmond to report for flight training at the Tuskegee Army Air Base in Alabama. Christian also served in the Korean War (1950–1953).

A postal worker for many years, he took accounting courses and opened a bookkeeping business in Richmond’s Jackson Ward neighborhood in 1963. Nearly a decade later he joined the city’s planning commission and was named its chair in 1976.

The next year he won election to the House of Delegates, going on to serve three consecutive terms. A highly successful delegate, Christian was expected to become the House’s second African American committee chair of the twentieth century. Instead, he died of bone cancer in 1982.

Christian was interviewed as part of the Church Hill Oral History Collection, which used to be online at VCU.

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