Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Day One: Richmond, VA - Knoxville, TN
Miles today: 450
After an introductory lecture this morning, we hit the road for one of our longest driving days. In the past, we have used this day to visit the Robert Russa Moton museum in Farmville, VA. While we didn't make it there this year due to time constraints, I recommend it to folks who live in central Virginia. It chronicles the 1951 student strikes when students walked out of classes to protest second-class facilities at their high school (which serves as the museum today). It also commemorates Prince Edward County's role as one of the five cases that made up the monumental 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision, which desegregated public schools. Finally, it recounts the county's decision to close schools for five years rather than integrate. It's especially powerful when paired with talks by local activists from the 1950s who still live in the area.