Roanoke, Virginia is often called the "Star City". Who are famous African-Americans (past and present) with roots in the Valley? The first ones that come to mind for me (KOH) are Booker T. Washington (from Franklin County - legendary world leader), Oliver Hill (Roanoke - late civil rights attorney), Oscar Micheaux (Harlem Renaissance filmmaker), Charles "Big Dog" Thornhill (Roanoke - '60s college football) and Al Holland (Roanoke - major league baseball), but there must be many others before them and since from all throughout the Valley (including the surrounding counties) - and from all professions. We would like to post this so that the world will see our stars! This will be compiled, updated regularly and listed at: http://roanokerelatives.weebly.com/roanoke.html. This list is of all African-Americans from the Valley, not just relatives.
_The 2012 movie "Red Tails," about African-American pilots in the Tuskegee training program, is a great lead into this family blog question. Which family members do you recall serving in WWI, WWII, the Korean War and/or the Viet Nam War? For example, my father, Richard Hilton, served in the Army, I think as a staff sergeant (World War II), as did several other men such as Leonard St.Clair and June St. Clair, I think Clarence Williams (Roanoke) served in the Korean War. My grandfather, Clarence Reynolds served in World War I.
Feel free to leave comments (even corrections) on any of these posts (old and current ones) at any time.