New 'Negro Project' billboards appear in Richmond & Henrico - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

New 'Negro Project' billboards appear in Richmond & Henrico

Controversial billboards asking the community to "stop the Negro Project" are no longer high above Chamberlayne Avenue. Controversial billboards asking the community to "stop the Negro Project" are no longer high above Chamberlayne Avenue.
Instead, a religious group removed the old signs, and put up three new ones in Richmond and Henrico County – billboards that still reference the Negro Project. Instead, a religious group removed the old signs, and put up three new ones in Richmond and Henrico County – billboards that still reference the Negro Project.
RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

Controversial billboards asking the community to "stop the Negro Project" are no longer high above Chamberlayne Avenue. Instead, a religious group removed the old signs, and put up three new ones in Richmond and Henrico County – billboards that still reference the Negro Project.

The signs on Chamberlayne, West Cary Street and Nine Mile Road look similar to the original billboards installed over Labor Day weekend. The biggest difference is a change in the wording. Instead of an advertisement reading, "stop the Negro Project," the new signs say, "history calls it the Negro Project. Our community needs to know now!"

The Virginia Christian Alliance is behind the billboards, and board member Terry Beatley said in an interview Friday the advertisements are not meant to be offensive.

"Those billboards are a sincere invitation to anybody who wants to come out and learn the truth about the Negro Project," Beatley said. "It is not a racist statement. It's actually just the opposite."

The founder of Planned Parenthood launched the Negro Project back in 1939, as an effort to provide African-Americans with birth control. But some have come to see the Project as an attempt to diminish, or eliminate, the African-American population.

"We're about getting the truth out. What are the facts, what is the legacy of the Negro Project," Beatley said. "How does it affect our community and our families today?"

The original billboards advertised a meeting at the Eternity Church on Chamberlayne Avenue. But Eternity Pastor J. David Singh backed the church out of the event, citing the controversy with the original signs.

"We strongly repudiate the language," Singh wrote on his church's website. "Eternity Church is not connected with their event and it will not take place on this premises."

The VCA meeting will now be held at the Mount Olivet Baptist Church in Richmond, Sept. 19 at 7:00 p.m.

"What I hope, is that there's standing room only," Beatley said. "We will put up signs like these again for our meetings in the future."

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