When faced with a court order to integrate, Prince Edward County in Virginia closed its entire school system in 1959 rather than integrate. The closure lasted five years and was part of a larger policy enacted by the state called Massive Resistance. Larissa Smith Fergeson (Longwood University) speaks to people who were students in Prince Edward County at that time about their experience of being locked out and the difficult decisions parents made to ensure education for their children. Also: Lucious Edwards(Virginia State University) and Allison Robinson (Yale University) discuss efforts to create an archive of research material that accurately reflects the era.


Want to dig deeper? Explore Encyclopedia Virginia:

Moton School Strike

Robert Russa Moton

Massive Resistance

Desegregation in Higher Education

Harry F. Byrd, Sr.


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