Audiences around the world may soon know the story of the 1951 Moton Student Strike.
On September 1st, 2012, French filmmaker Fabrice Chiambretto premiered his documentary, Barbara Johns: The Making of an Icon at the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site in Topeka, Kansas. The film premiere was part of the Heart of America Black Expo Grant Fest. Planning for a second screening in Virginia next spring is currently underway.
The film intimately follows the creation of the Virginia Civil Rights Memorial, unveiled on Richmond’s Capitol Square in 2008. It also tells the story behind the memorial: the 1951 Moton High School Student Strike led by 16-year-old Barbara Rose Johns. The students’ courageous actions catapulted Prince Edward County, Virginia into the center of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement and ultimately resulted in the Supreme Court’s landmark 1954 Brown v. Board decision outlawing racial segregation in America’s public schools.
The documentary includes interviews with several individuals close to the memorial project and history, including 1951 Moton student striker John Watson and Moton Museum president Bob Hamlin.