Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

144-0053 Robert Russa Moton High School

Robert Russa Moton High School
Photo credit: Jim Hare/DHR, 2019

*Click on image to enlarge.

For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 03/19/1997

NRHP Listing Date 10/24/1995

NHL Listing Date 08/05/1998

DHR's Virginia Board of Historic Resources easement

NRHP Reference Number 95001177

This innocent-looking school building built in 1939 at the corner of South Main Street and Griffin Boulevard in the town of Farmville was an object of national attention in Virginia’s school desegregation crisis of the 1950s. The school was the scene of a strike begun on April 23, 1951 by students of the then all-African American institution to protest their inadequate and unequal educational facilities. The strike led to the court case Davis v. County School Board of Prince Edward County, which was combined with others before the U. S. Supreme Court as Brown v. Board of Education. That case was the basis for the landmark decision that struck down the “separate but equal” doctrine governing public policy. The decision gave birth to Virginia’s massive resistance movement during which Prince Edward County closed its schools until 1964 rather than desegregate. Since listing, the former school has been developed into a civil rights museum.

Many properties listed in the registers are private dwellings and are not open to the public, however many are visible from the public right-of-way. Please be respectful of owner privacy.

VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

Updated: June 24, 2021