June 3, 2009
Fifty years – to date – after the 1959 Prince Edward County Board of Supervisors voted not to fund the county’s public schools rather than desegregate, the current Board of Supervisors unveiled and dedicated its Light of Reconciliation Memorial on the Courthouse lawn. This permanent memorial marker honors Barbara Rose Johns, the students of Robert Russa Moton High School, and all the children of Prince Edward County for their historic role in ending public school segregation in the United States.
After unveiling the permanent marker, Board of Supervisor Chairman, William G. Fore, Jr. presented Moton Museum’s President Robert Hamlin, Vice-President Dorothy Holcomb, and Director Lacy Ward Jr. with the Prince Edward County flag, which had covered the marker.
“It is a great honor for Dorothy and me to receive this flag on behalf of the Robert Russa Moton Museum Board of Directors,” said Robert Hamlin. “The Museum will display the flag proudly in a prominent place as a part of a permanent exhibit scheduled to open in April, 2011. This flag will forever be especially meaningful to those of us whose education was cut short or interrupted by the closing of public schools in Prince Edward County. We thank the County for the acknowledgement of sorrow and for Dedicating this Light of Reconciliation.”
Hamlin went on to say, “It is a pleasure to be a part of this Dedication and other positive events in Prince Edward County. At the Museum, we are particularly pleased to have participated in a rewarding collaboration with the county’s four major school systems: Hampden-Sydney College, Longwood University, Prince Edward County Public Schools and Fuqua School. A product of this collaboration is in front of many of you this evening, our new brochure entitled Our Schools, Our Vision: A Shared Commitment. Each of these schools began as a segregated institution; each is today an integrated institution. We invite you to join us in our shared commitment for educational opportunities for all in Prince Edward County.”
Board of Supervisor Chairman, William G. Fore, Jr., Moton Museum’s President Robert Hamlin, Vice-President Dorothy Holcomb, and Director Lacy Ward Jr.