Roanoke Renames Courthouse in Honor of Civil Rights Attorney Oliver Hill

May 1, 2019

Roanoke’s courthouse has a new name that honors a renowned civil rights attorney who began his law career in the city.

Roanoke’s courthouse will now be known as the Oliver W. Hill Justice Center.

Ramona Taylor, president of the Oliver White Hill Foundation, says the day of the renaming ceremony is special for more than one reason.

Credit Nick Gilmore / RADIO IQ

“Because May 1st, 1907, Oliver White came into this world to a young couple, born in Richmond, Virginia. Today is Mr. Hill’s birthday,” says Taylor.

Taylor says Hill would have appreciated the city’s decision.

“And calling it a justice center would have meant so much to him, because he thought that’s where the fight for justice should be – in the courtroom, in legal cases," she says. "Not necessarily in streets, because you have to change the rule of law before you can change people’s minds.”

Last year, city leaders dedicated a marker outside Hill's childhood home.