Farmville in Prince Edward County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Prince Edward County Public Schools
—Prince Edward County —
In 1954, after the Supreme Court ruled in Brown vs. the Board of Education of Topeka, that United States schools must integrate, Senator Harry S. Byrd and several Virginia governors followed the policy of “massive resistance.” Integration was postponed in every way it could be, from legal manipulation to simple foot-dragging. In many counties the Boards of Supervisors, School Boards and other government bodies managed to postpone integration for as long as 15 years. In Prince Edward County the governing bodies simply closed the schools altogether from 1959-64, rather than comply with the mandate to integrate. White children could attend the newly established Prince Edward Academy. However, many white families couldn’t afford or did not feel it was necessary to go to the Academy, and their children received no education. For black children a number of “training schools” were set up in churches, homes and buildings to provide them with a rudimentary education.
By Bernard Fisher, May 29, 2010
1. Prince Edward County Public Schools CRIEHT Marker
They were often taught by unpaid, untrained teachers, as salaried teachers went elsewhere looking for work. An organized effort led by Farmville’s First Baptist and Beulah churches resulted in “Free Schools,” in which student volunteers came to town to teach and live with local black families. In other cases, many children—black
and white were sent by their parents to live in other counties with friends or relatives to get an education. Others remained working on farms, expecting that the situation would not last longer than a year or so. As a result, many of Prince Edward’s youth were denied years of education during the Civil Rights movement. The “Lost Generation,” as they have been called, received an education that was interrupted for a few important years or never completed. After the schools reopened in 1964, extensive improvements gradually resulted in a 135-acre campus with three schools that provide the county’s diverse student population with a quality education.
2. (Top) High school for white students, built 1937.(Bottom) Students protest, 1963.
Erected by Civil Rights in Education Heritage Trail®. (Marker Number 23.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Civil Rights in Education Heritage Trail marker series.
Location. 37° 15.928′ N, 78° 23.946′ W. Marker is in Farmville, Virginia, in Prince Edward County. Marker can be reached from Zion Hill Road (County Route 628) 0.1 miles east of McClendon Drive. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Farmville VA 23901, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Robert Russa Moton High School (approx. 1.8 miles away);
R. R. Moton High School (approx. 1.8 miles away); Longwood (approx. 2.1 miles away); Longwood Estate (approx. 2.1 miles away); Longwood College (approx. 2.2 miles away); Longwood University (was approx. 2.3 miles away but has been reported missing. ); Farmville Female Seminary Association (approx. 2.4 miles away); First Baptist Church (approx. 2½ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Farmville.
3. Prince Edward County High School, c1959.
More about this marker. On the left are two photos with the captions:
"(Top Left) Built in 1937, this high school was designated for white students of Prince Edward County. It was closed in 1959 and never reopened."
"(Bottom Left) Students protesting the continuation of the schools closings in downtown Farmville (1963)."
In the center is a photo with the caption,"(Center Panel) A new high school for black students was built in 1953 to replace the inadequate Moton School and its tar paper buildings. It was closed in 1959 and reopened in 1964. Much expanded, it is now the Prince Edward County
4. Schools re-open in 1964.
On the right is a photo with the caption, "(Above) Students walk from their school bus to a newly re-opened public school (1964)."
All photographs copyright Richmond Times Dispatch - used by permission.
Also see . . .
1. Civil Rights in Education Heritage Trail. Virginia's Retreat (Submitted on May 31, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
2. Prince Edward County Public Schools. (Submitted on May 31, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
3. The Closing of Prince Edward County's Schools. Virginia Historical Society - The Civil Rights Movement in Virginia (Submitted on May 31, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
Categories. • 20th Century • African Americans • Churches & Religion • Civil Rights • Education •
By Bernard Fisher, May 29, 2010
5. Prince Edward County High School
6. Civil Rights in Education Heritage Trail® Map
1. Winonah Camp/Mozella Price Home
2. Carver-Price School
3. Education in 1800's Rural Virginia
4. One-Room Schoolhouse
5. Carter G. Woodson Birthplace
6. Hamilton High School
7. Rosenwald School at Cartersville
8. Jackson Davis
9. Russell Grove Presbyterian Church and School
10. Mrs. Samantha Jane Neil
11. Virginia State University
12. Earliest Known Public High School for African Americans in Virginia
13. McKenney Library
14. The Peabody-Williams School
15. Southside Virginia Training Center
16. Rocky Branch School
17. Early Education in Dinwiddie County
18. Blackstone Female Institute
19. Mt. Nebo Church
20. Ingleside Training Institute
21. The People's Community Center
22. St. Matthew's Lutheran Church Christian Day School
Prince Edward County
23. Prince Edward County Public Schools
24. R. R. Moton High School
25. Farmville Female Seminary Association
26. First Baptist Church
27. Beulah AME Church
28. Hampden-Sydney College
29. Southside Virginia Community College - John H. Daniel Campus
30. Charlotte County Library
31. Salem School
32. Meadville Community Center
33. Mary M. Bethune High School
34. Washington-Coleman Elementary School
35. Mizpah Church
36. Thyne Institute
37. Boydton Academic and Bible Institute
38. Southside Virginia Community College - Christanna Campus
39. Saint Paul's College
40. Hospital and School of the Good Shepherd
41. Fort Christanna
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on May 31, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,467 times since then and 34 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on May 31, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.