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The Robert Russa Moton Museum

The Robert R. Moton Museum, A Center for the Study of Civil Rights in Education.
The Robert R. Moton Museum, A Center for the Study of Civil Rights in Education.

Appomattox and Prince Edward County are side by side.  As one marked the end of a cruel war, how significant it would be if the other symbolized the end of the struggle that has oppressed the Negro and left him less than a full citizen in his own country.  At least one generation of children in Prince Edward county will always carry the scars of the conflict that closed their schools.  But perhaps even they will disregard the cost if their children are permitted to share the American dream.

– Robert F. Kennedy

n April 23, 1951, in an event that foreshadowed the coming Civil Rights Movement, Barbara Johns, a sixteen year old African-American high school junior in Prince Edward, and fellow student leaders, organized their schoolmates in a boycott of their overcrowded and unsafe high school in Farmville, the county seat. The strike, which began as a demand for equality in separate educational facilities quickly became a vital part of the growing movement for integration in all public education.

The school was named for Robert R. Moton, a native of the region, who rose to national prominence as an educator and as the President of Tuskegee University, following Booker T. Washington.  In 1998 the former high school building was designated a National Historic Landmark by the United States Secretary of the Interior. The Robert R. Moton Museum opened on April 23, 2001 on the 50th anniversary of the student school strike.

Please visit and support the Robert R. Moton Museum.

The Robert Russa Moton Museum logo

(Photograph by Brian Grogan, © 2001)