Virginia NAACP Statement on Posthumous Pardons of the Martinsville Seven

Da’Quan Love, Executive Director,


RICHMOND – Virginia State Conference NAACP President Robert N. Barnette, Jr. issued the following statement:

“The Virginia NAACP applauds today’s announcement of Virginia Governor Ralph Northam granting posthumous pardons for the Martinsville Seven, a group of young Black men executed by the Commonwealth for the alleged rape of a white woman in 1951.

Decades after the Commonwealth tried and executed these young men without due process, today’s long-overdue announcement is a step in the right direction towards justice.”


Founded in 1935, the Virginia State Conference of NAACP Branches (Virginia NAACP) is the oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization in the Commonwealth, overseeing over 100 NAACP branches, youth councils, and college chapters. The Virginia NAACP is focused on being the preeminent voice of Black Virginians and advocating for policies and programs to benefit Blacks and people of color. You can read more about the Virginia NAACP’s work and our six “Game Changer” issue areas by visiting