Original Author: WSLS-TV News
Created: Dec. 2, 1955
Medium: 16mm film

News Footage of Reverend W.L. Ransome speaking against the Gray Commission

In this broadcast from Roanoke Virginia’s news station WSLS, filmed on December 2, 1955, the Reverend W.L. Ransome speaks to the Virginia General Assembly in opposition to the Commission on Public Education, also known as the Gray Commission. The commission had proposed a state constitutional amendment that would give the state the power to defund integrated schools and fund private, white, segregated schools. In part of this speech, he states: “Black robes in our colleges are a symbol of intelligence and wisdom. Black in the court of law is a symbol of authority. Black on the clergy and priests is a symbol of righteousness, even of holiness. But black on the skin of a man, is, in the opinion of too many white people, a badge of inferiority.”