GRTC Celebrates Black History Month

In celebration of Black History Month, GRTC pays special tribute to local Black History-Makers every February. It is fitting for GRTC to honor African-American individuals from the past and present, male and female, who have made an impact on Virginia’s history and progress. GRTC’s annual celebration grew from its longstanding on-bus tribute to Rosa Parks who is most well-known for her act of defiance on a Montgomery, AL bus on December 1, 1955 that changed the course of history.

Below are the honorees we are proud to share for Black History Month 2019.

Dr. Sarah Garland Boyd Jones (1866 – 1905) was one of the founders of the first hospital in Richmond allowing African American doctors to practice.  As the first African American and woman licensed to practice medicine in the Commonwealth of Virginia, Dr. Jones called together a group of black physicians to create a close professional bond among physicians in the city and encourage scientific research.  This group was comprised entirely of men except for herself.  In October 1902, this group helped form the Richmond Hospital Association with the purpose of building a black-owned hospital that was staffed by black physicians, nurses, and technicians. The hospital developed a relationship with a nurse training school to help ensure the best patient care. In 1905 as a result of this relationship, the facility’s name was changed to Richmond Hospital and Medical College and Training School for Nurses, or simply Richmond Hospital. Today the facility is known as Bon Secours Richmond Community Hospital.  Dr. Jones was a pioneer in the medical field, a champion for civil rights, and a role model for future generations
Content sourced with permission from Bon Secours.

Glenn “Nighthawk” Williams was an Operator at GRTC for more than 32 years.  From a young age Glenn had the spirit of giving, a message instilled by his parents.  During his tenure at GRTC, Glenn was known for his gifts, including distributing candy to riders on Valentine’s Day, Halloween and Christmas.  These small gifts of service helped spread joy to many.  Now retired, Glenn continues to uplift people through his community outreach and activism.  He is most well-known for his alternate personas, including Superman and Dallas Cowboys Santa Claus, his own character creation that always sparks friendly conversation during the Holidays. 


Marilyn West founded her namesake company, the M.H. West & Co., in 1991.  This company, which specializes in management and education consulting, has successfully served more than 400 clients in its 28 years.  West’s achievements extend to her service on numerous boards and committees, including Valentine Museum, Ferrum College, Richmond Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Black History and Cultural Center of Virginia, to name a few. More than a recognized model leader, West is also a respected artist with more than 300 unique pieces in The M2Arm Collection inspired by mathematics, public health science and nature.   


Jackie Bradley Jr. is a hometown athlete signed to the Boston Red Sox as an outfielder in 2011.  In 2013, he received his first World Series Championship title.  Five years later, in 2018, Bradley received his second World Series Championship title and was awarded the Rawlings Gold Glove Award in addition to becoming the most valuable player for the American League Championship Series. Bradley’s success comes as no surprise to his family, as he told them at age five he would be a professional baseball player. Bradley is the son of GRTC Operator Jackie Bradley, Sr. and recently visited GRTC after winning the World Series again. 

GRTC welcomes submissions now for next year’s local Black History Month honorees; names will be saved for future consideration. Male and female, living and deceased, nominations are accepted. Please email nominations, including a biography, photo and any contact information, to

GRTC also continues to honor the legacy of Rosa Parks annually on December 1, the anniversary of her arrest after refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white passenger, by reserving the first seat on every GRTC bus in her memory.