‘The Moton School Story: Children of Courage’ now open

New Civil Rights exhibition explores origin and aftermath of ‘Brown v. Board’

Painting courtesy of Prince Edward Co. Elementary School students (Grades Pre-K – 4) and Art teacher Carol Edmondson.

Before the sit-ins in Greensboro, before the Montgomery bus boycott, there was the 1951 Moton Student Strike in Farmville, Virginia.  The 13-year battle to desegregate Prince Edward County’s public schools would reshape the nation and the future of American education.  Beginning April 29th, 2013, “The Moton School Story: Children of Courage” will share this history with the world.

Designed by Petersburg-based StudioAmmons, the Moton Museum’s permanent exhibition begins with the April 1951 strike against separate, but unequal conditions at Farmville’s R.R. Moton High School.  From this youth-led direct action emerges the largest and only student-initiated case among the five that comprise Brown v. Board of Education.  The exhibition continues through Virginia’s “Massive Resistance” to school desegregation, followed by Prince Edward’s extreme decision to close all public schools from 1959 until 1964.  In the final gallery, visitors encounter the 1963-64 Kennedy Administration-supported Free School system, and end with the Supreme Court’s 1964 Griffin decision reopening county schools, ensuring free desegregated education for all.

Click here to preview ‘The Moton School Story’ exhibition.

Opening Events, April 21st – May 1st
The Moton Museum invites the public to several free community events commemorating the opening of ‘The Moton School Story’:

  • Sun, April 21st, 3:00p | First Baptist Church of Farmville
    Johns-Griffin Day Service
    Guest Minister: The Rev. Dr. Dwight C. Jones, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church of South Richmond; Mayor of the City of Richmond ____
  • Wed, April 24th, 6:30p | Moton Museum
    Our Schools, Our Vision Presents
    Co-hosted by Prince Edward County Public Schools and Fuqua School
    An ensemble jazz concert featuring local high school musicians, directed by Longwood University Music Department Chair, Dr. Charles Kinzer
    ___ 
  • Thurs, April 25th, 6:30p | Crawley Forum, Hampden-Sydney College
    The Walter Taylor Reveley II Lecture
    Co-hosted by Hampden-Sydney College
    Keynoter: W. Taylor Reveley III, President of the College of William and Mary; son of former Hampden-Sydney College president Dr. Walter Taylor Reveley II (1963-1977) | Click here to download event flier (PDF)
    ____ 
  • Mon, April 29th, Noon – 4:00p | Moton Museum
    ‘Moton School Story’ Opening Day
    Free admission
    ____
    Opening Day Luncheon (Noon-1PM) | Charley’s Waterfront Cafe
    For $15.00, enjoy a specially-prepared Virginia Natural Fish Company meal. Proceeds support the Moton Museum.  RSVP to Lori Blackwood (434-315-8775 ext 4) by Fri, April 27th
     ____
  • Wed, May 1st, 6:00PM | Library of Virginia, Richmond, VA
    Director’s Screening of Barbara Johns, The Making of An Icon
    Co-hosted by the Library of Virginia
    Join French filmmaker Fabrice Chiambretto and other special guests for a Richmond screening of ‘Making of An Icon’, followed by a sunset ceremony at the Virginia Civil Rights Memorial on Capitol Square

Among the guests will be former Director of the National Park Service and Senior Advisor to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, Robert G. Stanton, as well as National Education Association (NEA) President Dennis Van Roekel.  Virginia Supreme Court Justice Cleo Elaine Powell will also join the Virginia Bar Association’s and Virginia Law Foundation’s Rule of Law Project for a special program with local high school students.

 “The Moton School Story” dedication is made possible through the generous support of week-long Title Sponsor Wells Fargo.  Additional support is provided by Dedication Sponsor, Central Southside Community Hospital.  Individual Event Sponsors include the Virginia Tourism Corporation (April 23rd) and Thompson Hospitality (April 25th).

For more information regarding Moton’s Opening Events, contact Associate Director for Administration & Development, Lori Blackwood, at 434-315-8775 ext 4 or lori[dot]blackwood[at]motonmuseum[dot]org.

 To schedule a group tour, call 434-315-8775 ext 6 or email info[at]motonmuseum[dot]org.

About the Robert Russa Moton Museum
Located in Farmville at 900 Griffin Blvd, the former R.R. Moton High School — now the Moton Museum — stands as Virginia’s sole National Historic Landmark of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement. The Museum honors the courage and sacrifice of Prince Edward County, Virginia students and families, and their leading role in moving America from segregation toward integration.  For more information, visit www.motonmuseum.org or call 434-315-8775.