Monday, March 18th, 7:30 PM
John Stokes will be here at the library to talk about his experiences under segregation and his participation in the famous 1954 Supreme Court case: Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka in which the court ruled that "Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal", ushering in the end of school segregation.
When the Supreme Court heard Brown v. Board of Education, that case was combined with four other school segregation cases, one of which was Davis v. County School Board of Prince Edward County (Virginia). At Robert Moton High School, in 1951, students walked out to protest conditions at their segregated school where 400 students were assigned to a building designed for 150, and where tar paper shacks had been constructed to house the overflow. Mr. Stokes was one of leaders of the student strike, and became one of the student plantiffs named in the famous case.
What happened to the schools after the Supreme Court decision? Prince Edward County refused to comply and closed all the public schools in 1959. They were not reopened until passage of the civil rights act of 1964.
You can read John Stokes' own account of the strike in J 323.092 STOKES Students on Strike: Jim Crow, Civil Rights, Brown, and Me. If you have your own copy, you can get it signed.
The program is designed for children of school age (5 and up) and adults. We will provide sign language interpretation.