American Civil War Center program to explore 'Massive Resistance' in Virginia

Jan 30, 2013, 23:32 ET from The American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar

RICHMOND, Va., Jan. 30, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Thursday, February 21, at 7 p.m., the American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar will present A Dream Deferred: The Prince Edward County School Closings.

In response to the Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. the Board of Education that segregated schools were unconstitutional, the Commonwealth of Virginia began a policy of "Massive Resistance." When ordered on May 1, 1959, to integrate its schools, Prince Edward County instead closed its entire public school system for five years.

The program, presented in partnership with the Farmville, VA-based Moton School Civil Rights Learning Center, will explore this extraordinary chapter in Virginia's struggle for equal rights through those who lived it. Panelists will include Mickie Carrington, Dorothy Holcomb, and Eunice Carwile. All were rising fifth graders when Prince Edward County closed its public schools.

Carrington remained out of school for four years until the Kennedy Administration-backed Free Schools opened in 1963. Holcomb pretended to live in a dilapidated house in neighboring Appomattox County so she could attend that county's public schools. Carwile's parents couldn't afford Prince Edward County's newly established, whites-only private school system so her family was forced to relocate and start over.

The discussion will be moderated by Justin Reid, Associate Director for Museum Operations, for the Moton School Civil Rights Learning Center. A National Historic Landmark, the Moton School honors the courage and sacrifice of Prince Edward County, VA, students and families, and their leading role in moving America from segregation toward integration.

Seating for the free event is limited. Free parking is available on site. Registration at is strongly encouraged.

The American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar is the nation's first museum to interpret the Civil War from three essential perspectives – Union, Confederate, and African American. The Center opened in October 2006 with the mission to tell the whole story of the conflict that still shapes our nation. Last year, the American Civil War Center, in partnership with the Richmond Battlefield Park of the National Park Service, was selected by the Richmond Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau to serve as the Richmond Region's Gateway to the Civil War. The Center is also part of the Smithsonian Institution Affiliations Program. For more information about the center, visit

Contact: Penelope Carrington Wallace
The American Civil War Center
(804) 780-1865 Ext. 21

SOURCE The American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar