September 16, 2009
FARMVILLE, Va.–The street that runs behind the Robert Russa Moton Museum—Barrow Street—will be closed soon for improvements to include a bus-pull off area, parking lot and new curbing and gutter construction. The street is adjacent to the museum and Longwood University’s soccer and softball fields, and the improvements should result in an enhanced visitor experience for patrons of the Moton Museum.
Just when the closure and work will take place has not been determined, but it could be later this year. The work will be done by the town of Farmville.
The town of Farmville turned the road over to Longwood University in 1997. The school granted an easement to the museum March 11, 2008. The Longwood University Board of Visitors, the school’s governing body, also signed off on the easement for the museum.
Right now, it is difficult for cars and buses to maneuver onto, but the improvements should significantly improve accessibility.
Dennis Sercombe, Longwood’s associate vice president for marketing and communications, said “We want to support the Moton Museum anyway we can, and these improvements will enhance the visitor’s experience with better parking and accessibility.”
Moton received a Virginia Department of Transportation grant to upgrade the parking lot several years ago. By mutual agreement, when Moton is not using the new lot, Longwood can use it for parking during athletic events on the adjacent fields.
The mission of the Moton Museum is to preserve and positively interpret the history of Civil Rights in Education, specifically as it relates to Prince Edward County and the role its citizens played in America’s struggle to move from a segregated to an integrated society.
Moton was the site of the April 23, 1951 student walkout in protest of inferior educational facilities led by 16-year-old sophomore Barbara Johns. The Moton strike launched Prince Edward County’s 13-year struggle for Civil Rights in Education and resulted in the filing of Davis v. Prince Edward, which called for an end to racial segregation in public education. Davis was decided, along with four other cases, in the Supreme Court decisions Brown v. Board (1954) and Brown II (1955).
The Moton Museum is located in the former R. R. Moton High School at 900 Griffin Boulevard, Farmville, Virginia. For additional information, please telephone 434–315-8775.