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Ora Lomax, longtime NAACP leader, civil rights advocate, dies at 86

Jeremy M. Lazarus | 4/26/2019, 6 a.m.
For decades, black women could only work behind the scenes at white-owned retail stores in Richmond during the harsh era ...
Ora Lomax

She refused to pay to hold meetings of the Richmond NAACP Youth Council at the library, but also rallied others to fight the fee that was rolled back within two months. She insisted that Richmond taxpayers should not have to pay to hold meetings in a public building.

James E. “J.J.” Minor III, president of the Richmond Branch NAACP, said Mrs. Lomax was known “for her passion and dedication.”

She “paved the way for many Richmond youth leaders and inspired youths throughout the state when she served as the volunteer adviser, as well to the Virginia NAACP’s college and youth division.”

Umar Kenyatta recalled how she helped him and other students start a NAACP chapter at Virginia Commonwealth University and attend an independent political convention in Cincinnati.

Mrs. Lomax also was a founding member of the Richmond Chapter of Women in the NAACP.

Largely sidelined in recent years after her kidneys failed and she spent three days a week in dialysis, Mrs. Lomax was constantly on the phone with others in an effort to stay current.

In one of her last battles, she fought a dialysis center that she felt was mistreating patients. When the center tried to cut off service to her, she used her contacts to fight back, ultimately forcing the center to transfer her to another location that she said had better service.

There are no immediate survivors.