Moton Mondays: Elvatrice Parker Belsches
February 15 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
We will be joined by Elvatrice Parker Belsches, a public historian, researcher and filmmaker who specializes in chronicling the Black experience in history. She is the author of the pictorial publication, Black America Series: Richmond, Virginia (Arcadia Publishing) and she has several documentaries in development.
Belsches will take the audience on a journey into civil rights in education through the memories of her late parents who were gifted educators. Belsches’ father, the late Ernest Parker Sr. taught mathematics at Robert R. Moton High School from 1951-1955, where he also served as an assistant football coach and athletic director. While serving as Barbara Johns’ homeroom and algebra teacher, he discovered the students making placards in the back of the class in preparation for the student walkout in 1951. The walkout launched a series of events that laid the groundwork for the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court ruling deeming segregation unconstitutional, and prompted Prince Edward County schools to close rather than integrate for five years. The students’ signs, with messages like “We want a new school” are printed indelibly in the nation’s collective memory of the civil rights movement, and are treasured pieces of her family’s legacy.