“Edwin Bancroft Henderson” state historical marker dedicated in Falls Church


FALLS CHURCH, Va. (WDVM) — A state historical marker was unveiled on Saturday for Dr. Edwin Bancroft Henderson outside his former home in Falls Church, where he resided from 1910 to 1965.

Dr. Edwin Bancroft Henderson (1883-1977) was a pioneer for fostering African American participation in athletics in the greater D.C. region. Henderson worked to organize leagues and associations for Black athletes and referees in the early 20th century.

His civil rights advocacy also led to him organizing the NAACP’s first rural branch in Falls Church. Henderson also served as president of the Virginia NAACP.

“My grandfather, he was an amazing man,” said grandson Edwin Henderson at the unveiling ceremony on Nov. 20.

The Board of Historic Resources approved the marker in June 2021, sponsored by Gov. Northam’s Black History Month Marker Contest 2021. The marker is one of five student-nominated winners of the contest.

Kings Glen Elementary student Sullivan Massaro, and winner of the contest, proposed the marker for Henderson. The student says more stories like his deserve to be told.

“Dr. Henderson spent his whole life trying to make things better, not just for African Americans, but he wanted everyone to have equal opportunities to learn, play sports and just live,” said Massaro.

Henderson was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013.

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