On April 23, 1951, a group of Moton High School students walked out of their classrooms and into history.

Seventy years later, the Moton Museum, dedicated to preserving the events of that day and the civil rights history of Prince Edward County, specifically as it relates to civil rights in education and the leading role its citizens made, will make history again. 

Moton Live, a 10-hour virtual celebration marking the 70th anniversary of the 1951 student walkout, led by Barbara Rose Johns, as well as the fullness of our local civil rights history, will air live April 23.

The event also celebrates the 20th anniversary of the 2001 opening of the museum in Farmville.

“We are excited to join together with our supporters and the community as we commemorate these two significant milestones,” said executive director Cameron Patterson. “The Moton Museum continues to stand on the front lines as Virginia’s only civil rights museum with the goal of making more widely known a local story that changed the nation. With Moton Live we seek to honor the courage and sacrifice of Prince Edward citizens and to continue important conversations regarding race, civil rights and equality. We also pledge to Moton’s future as we seek to raise critical support to reach communities across the Commonwealth of Virginia and beyond.”

Moton Live 2021 will stream live via Facebook, YouTube and at https://motonmuseum.org/live/stream/. Sessions include segments from civic leaders, museum leaders and those foundational to the birth and growth of Moton Museum over the years. 

Featured speakers include Governor Ralph Northam, Secretary of Education Atif Qarni, Margo Lee Shetterly (author of Hidden Figures) and Rev. Dr. Virgil Wood (co-founder of the Beloved Community Initiative).

The virtual event’s goal is to raise $30,000 to support Moton operations, education and outreach programs. To make a gift, visit motonmuseum.org/live/.

The 1951 student walkout was staged to call attention to overcrowded and inferior facilities at the school. In 2001, Moton Museum was established to tell the story of civil rights in education through exhibits and interactive programming. The museum’s permanent exhibit, The Moton School Story: Children of Courage, features the Prince Edward County, Virginia, students who expanded the meaning of equality for all Americans.

For decades, the Moton Museum has been the home of a vital, ongoing conversation about freedom and equality. It’s the nation’s only civil rights museum that commemorates the walkout and lockout generations.

To learn more, go to motonmuseum.org/live/

To give to Moton Live, go to https://motonmuseum.org/give-now/