Remembering Herb Henderson


Huntington attorney Herbert H. Henderson was president
 of the West Virginia NAACP for 20 years.

File photo | The Herald-Dispatch


In the history of civil rights in West Virginia, few if any names
 are written larger than that of Huntington attorney
 Herbert H. Henderson (1929-2007)

Henderson graduated from West Virginia State College
 (now University), where he captained the football team.
 He went on to become the first black student to graduate
 from the George Washington University Law School.

He completed law school in less than three years, while working at the
 post office and driving a taxi to support his family, which then
included two young daughters. Later two more daughters
 were added to the family. Three of the four followed in
their father’s footsteps by earning their law degrees

Henderson was president of the West Virginia NAACP for 20 years,
 and was an advisor and counsel to the organization at the national
level. A respected friend of Benjamin Hooks, Julian Bond and
 other black leaders, he was lead attorney in the successful
 lawsuit that saw the ironically named White Pantry
restaurant, Bailey’s Cafeteria and other Huntington
estaurants opened to members of all races.

He also successfully sued the West Virginia Department
of Public Safety, winning a ruling that allowed
 women to be admitted to the State Police.


Note:  This Article and picture appeared in the Herald-Dispatch Newspaper on Jan. 9, 2024.


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