The Robert Russa Moton Museum breaks new ground with the exhibit The Moton School Story: Children of Courage. This exhibit seeks to expand the ethnic history perspective by encompassing the totality of racial integration. With an emphasis on policy actors, both civic and governmental, the exhibit presents a case study of the role American policy-making has had in the transition from racial segregation to integration in the public school system.
The Moton School Story explores Prince Edward County’s transition in the years 1951 through 1964. Moton School, a National Historic Landmark, was the site of a 1951 student protest for equal educational facilities which resulted in the filing of Davis v. Prince Edward, one of five cases collectively decided in 1954 as Brown v. Board.
The goal of The Moton School Story is to not only preserve and interpret the landmark, but to also present its history. The exhibit tells this story of transition through galleries featuring six aspects of the period:
- Student protests
- Conditions of racially segregated education
- The 1954 Brown decision
- The state of Virginia’s reaction to the Brown decision
- The county’s reaction to the Brown decision
- Operation of the Prince Edward County Free Schools and the Griffin v. Prince Edward decision to reopen public schools.
For Moton, the completion of the exhibit signaled their entry into the national Civil Rights Era museum community. Through Moton, Virginia joins other southern states in local Civil Rights interpretation and preservation of the stories of Civil Rights leaders for future generations.