Daughter of civil rights leader to speak at book fair

February 28, 2019

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — The daughter of Evelyn Thomas Butts will discuss her mother’s life as a civil rights leader during a book fair in Virginia.

Charlene Butts Ligon will be the featured author at the Norfolk Public Library’s 2nd annual Local Author Fair on Saturday. She will discuss her book, “FEARLESS: How a poor Virginia seamstress took on Jim Crow, beat the poll tax and changed her city forever.”

Butts was a voting rights champion, civil rights activist and one of the region’s most important African-American political leaders.

In 1963, she challenged Virginia’s poll tax. Her lawsuit and a similar suit were combined and argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1966. The court ruled that poll taxes were unconstitutional.

After the ruling, Butts helped thousands of African-Americans register to vote.