Al Malpa Ephemera


Black Leadership Fan with Martin Luther King Jr. from Virginia Funeral Home

Black Leadership Fan with Martin Luther King Jr. from Virginia Funeral Home


The Hairston Funeral Home of Martinsville, Va., published this fan, commemorating:

"Great American Achievers - Martin Luther King, Jr. - The Non-Violent Crusader”

There’s a paragraph describing the life and major achievements of MLK Jr. It includes this: “King preached the teachings of Christ and those of Mahatma Gandi ‘…We will match your capacity to inflict suffering with our capacity to endure suffering. We will meet your physical force with soul force…’” The paragraph ends with his murder in 1968.

On the back is a drawing and the name of the Hairston Funeral Home, Inc., “courteous, efficient and dependable service.” The funeral home was in Martinsville, Va. and owned by C. Reginald V. Hairston (President, Licensed Embalmer and Funeral Director) and Agnes Mobile Hairston (Vice Pres., Licensed Embalmer and Funeral Director.. Also, “Beautiful Chapel, Three Parlors and Lounge, Entirely Air Conditioned.”

From his obituary: Charles Reginald Vanderbilt Hairston (1923 – 1984) graduated from the Henry County Training School in 1941 and began an apprenticeship with the Watkins Funeral Home. He then spent three years in the Army during WWII. After his discharge, he studied at the Eckels School of Mortuary Science in Philadelphia, then completed his apprenticeship in Martinsville. In 1949 he leased the property formerly occupied by Watkins Funeral Home and opened his own funeral home which he operated with his wife.

The photos of Mr. and Mrs. Hairston were found with their obituaries.

The Hairston Funeral Home still exists at the same address in Martinsville and is still owned by an African American.

Condition: Near excellent. The original handle is whole and has no cracks. It is securely attached. There are no tears, folds or stains on the cardboard. The back is very clean. The card size is 8.0 x 8.0 inches. Including the handle, the size is 9.0 x 12.0 inches.

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