From Thurgood Marshall’s appointment to the United States Supreme Court 55 years ago to Shirley Chisolm’s 1972 bid to become the first African American candidate to run for a major-party Presidential nomination, 2022 marks the anniversary of numerous events that shaped the trajectory of the United States during the Civil Rights Era.
In Farmville, Va., where in 1951 students at Moton High School staged a walkout in protest of unequal school conditions and became part of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court case, the Robert Russa Moton Museum will celebrate the achievements of its own civil rights trailblazers during the institution’s signature Moton Live 2022 event.
Returning on April 20 in a hybrid in-person and virtual format, Moton Live 2022 will celebrate and commemorate the 1951 Moton walkout and its impact during a 24-hour giving campaign with six hours of programming streaming live from the Moton Museum. The inaugural Moton Live event in 2021 raised more than $50,000 in a single day, and this year the museum seeks to increase its reach and engage more donors than ever before. All contributions within a 24-hour period on April 20 will support Moton’s mission of constructively interpreting the history of civil rights in education and promoting dialogue that ensures empowerment within a constitutional democracy.
All funds raised will fuel Moton Museum’s outreach and community engagement efforts, including Moton’s Author Series, Interview Series, Teacher Institute and Teacher-in-Residence program, as well as on-site engagement and free educational materials for K-12 schools.
“Our Moton Live Day of Giving presents an opportunity for us to elevate the Moton Story and the civil rights history of Prince Edward County to reach a broad audience,” said Executive Director Cameron Patterson. “We will share unique content, unveil the newest edition of our Storytellers Magazine project, and raise important funds that will help us to continue our K-12 and public programming outreach efforts.”
Moton Live 2022 will stream on the Moton Website, Facebook and YouTube, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 20. As part of the celebration, the museum will also launch the fifth volume of Storytellers Magazine, a collaboration with Longwood University students that gives voice to the stories of Prince Edward County residents who were barred from attending school between 1959 and 1964. Sessions will include remarks from civil leaders, museum leaders and those dedicated to supporting and sharing the Moton story.
Along with the Storytellers unveiling, the six-hour programming lineup will include panel discussions about Moton Museum’s impact within the local community and schools, reflections from former Moton High School students and community members who grew up in Prince Edward County during the walkout and Civil Rights Movement, and sessions with Longwood faculty, historic preservation and state officials.
Since 2011, the Moton Museum has been the home to an education center that delivers the Moton story, a policy center for the study of civil rights in education, and a provider of community outreach services to support area citizens. In 2013, the museum was revitalized to include a permanent exhibit, “The Moton School Story: Children of Courage.” Today the museum engages with more than 20,000 individuals annually. Now a National Historic Landmark, it is the nation’s only civil rights museum commemorating the walkout and lockout generations.
Moton Museum chronicles the story of Moton High School students who, led by then-16-year-old Barbara Rose Johns, staged a walkout to protest unequal educational facilities in Farmville, Va. That protest sparked a case that would later become part of Brown v. Board of Education and caused ripples that spread from Farmville throughout the United States and are still felt today.
The story of Johns is the Moton story, which recounts Prince Edward’s 13-year struggle to achieve civil rights in education. Today, as the United States grapples with its historical roots, the Moton story remains as relevant as ever and will be told by scholars and former Moton students during Moton Live 2022. All programming for the event is available free of charge, as is admission to Moton Museum, which is located at the southern point of Longwood University.
To support the museum’s efforts and help share the Moton story, donate now at MotonMuseum.org/Give-Now.