Walking tour celebrates our shared history

Published 3:21 pm Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Keeping your head up is always good advice in life. That way, you can look forward instead of backward.

Despite this saged advice, there’s now good reason to glance down onto the sidewalk as you walk through downtown Farmville.

There are several newly painted black stenciled logos peppered around the downtown area to premiere the first phase of Farmville’s first Civil Rights Walking Tour — a joint venture of several community partners.

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It’s also an organic project to be celebrated by both residents and our visitors.

The stencils are in front of businesses, churches and other places that are part of Farmville and Prince Edward County’s rich civil rights history.

The walking tour includes spots on High Street, Main Street, West Third Street, North Street and Griffin Boulevard, according to project organizers, telling the story of our shared history.

The markers allow us to learn how places, such as Beulah AME Church and parsonage, First Baptist Church and the Prince Edward Courthouse influenced civil rights and the movement toward equality.

There are many people who worked hard behind the scenes to make the project’s first phase come to reality before the Vice Presidential Debate at Longwood University — namely Dr. Larissa Fergeson and Dr. John Miller.

Fergeson, Longwood University’s liaison to the Moton Museum, said the first phase includes 17 sites “connected to the history told at the Moton Museum, focusing on the years 1951-64.”

Fergeson, who has created several strong bridges and positive relationships between Moton, the community and Longwood University, was a driving influence, along with Miller, who serves as president of the Farmville Downtown Partnership.

Our community should be grateful and thankful for them both.

“Part of the Main Street program’s approach is historic preservation, and I believe that extends to memorializing the experiences that make our downtown historical,” Miller said.

Miller is spot on, just like the new stencils that we should all look for when walking along downtown sidewalks.

Jordan Miles is a senior staff writer at The Farmville Herald. His email address is Jordan.Miles@farmvilleherald.com.