Aired: June 6, 2009

The Making of a Civil Rights Museum

mtonIn 1951, young Barbara Johns led a student walkout to protest conditions at her segregated Moton High School in Farmville, Virginia.  Her actions led to a lawsuit that eventually helped strike down the doctrine of “separate but equal.”  Lacy Ward (Longwood University) is Director of the Robert Russa Moton Museum.  He wants the museum to show the Civil Rights struggle as a process of Americans perfecting the Union.

Also featured: After the Revolutionary War, white slave owners in Virginia took pains to see that their houses reflected the ideals of the new republic. Camille Wells (College of William and Mary) says slaves used the redesigned spaces to test and protest the terms of their bondage.


Want to dig deeper? Explore Encyclopedia Virginia:

Robert Mussa Moton

Moton School Strikes and Prince Edward County School Closings


Read about the significance of the Moton Museum in Virginia Review

Learn more about the homes mentioned in the interview:  Mount Airy or  Elsing Green