Author: Harold Marsh


James S. Christian (1918–1982)

James Samuel Christian represented the city of Richmond in the House of Delegates. He was a veteran of World War II, the first African American from Richmond to report for flight training at the Tuskegee Army Air Base in Alabama, and the Korean War. A postal worker for many years, he took accounting courses and opened a bookkeeping business in the city’s Jackson Ward neighborhood in 1963. Nearly a decade later he joined Richmond’s planning commission and was named its chair in 1976. The next year he won election to the House of Delegates, the first of three consecutive terms. A highly successful delegate, bone cancer probably kept Christian from becoming the House’s second African American committee chair of the twentieth century. He died in 1982 and was buried in Richmond’s Oakwood Cemetery.