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Celebration marks 50th year of Richmond statue honoring Bill “Bojangles” Robinson

Posted at 7:21 PM, Jun 03, 2023

RICHMOND, Va. – A celebration was held Saturday to mark 50 years of a statue in Richmond’s historic Jackson Ward neighborhood dedicated to an iconic African American tap dancer and actor.

Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, who was born in Richmond in 1878, was one of the most famous and highest-paid African American entertainers of the 20th century.

He also paid for a stoplight to be installed on Adams and Chamberlayne Parkway to keep safe the kids who walked to school.

Richmonders gathered at the site of the statue to honor Robinson's legacy.

“The city has changed a lot and they’’re doing a lot to help the kids. But back in the 30s, African American kids who went to school who went to school here did not have any traffic control. So they were getting hit by cars,” Keith Hicks, a statue celebration committee member, said. “So he went to city council and got it approved and spent his own money.”

Former Virginia Gov. Douglas Wilder spoke at Saturday’s celebration. He also spoke at the statue's dedication 50 years ago.

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