Born enslaved near Richmond in 1863, John Mitchell, Jr. came of age in the tumultuous post-Civil War era. In 1883, he launched a daring journalism career, becoming editor and publisher of the black-owned Richmond Planet once located near here. Known as the "Fighting Editor," Mitchell crusaded against lynching, served on the Richmond City Council (1888-1896) and founded the Mechanics Savings Bank in 1902. In 1904, he led a boycott of Richmond's segregated streetcars. In 1921, he ran for governor to protest black disfranchisement. Mitchell served as Planet editor until his death in 1929. He is buried in Evergreen Cemetery.