A hearty welcome

Published 11:19 am Thursday, September 29, 2016

Welcome, debate visitors, to Farmville, Va., America’s first two-college town and, in our not-so-humble estimation, the greatest place on earth.

We acknowledge some bias, but if you take time to get to know our community and its people, you’ll understand the source of our pride.

Perhaps your only knowledge of Farmville came from a high school textbook. We don’t hide from those 20th century events — shameful when viewed through any lens 60 years later — that helped galvanize America’s commitment to quality public education for all children, regardless of color.

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Institutions like the Moton Museum exist today to honor school closure victims and the heroes whose principled stands eventually prevailed. They also educate subsequent generations on those sins and how people of like mind, heart and spirit can come together to effect change.

A new downtown Civil Rights Walking Tour makes its debut Tuesday. The sidewalk in front of our office on North Street is one of the stops. You’ll learn this newspaper once massively resisted school integration. You’ll also learn that, several decades later, this same paper championed a scholarship fund for school closure victims and descendants.

Our newspaper is symbolic of a community that worked tirelessly to make amends and emerge as a vibrant college town mindful — but no longer consumed by the guilt — of sins a half-century past.

Take a walk down Main Street, talk to our citizens and see for yourself.

We extend a hearty welcome to our few thousand new friends to Farmville and Longwood University to help our community kick-start a future that’s never been brighter.