‘What are you waiting on?’

Published 5:36 pm Tuesday, February 7, 2017


Isn’t it time Farmville recognized our civil rights champion Barbara Rose Johns?

Johns was a hero — someone who stood up to the massive challenges she faced to secure opportunities in education that would ultimately change the educational landscape of the nation. She strived mightily and unselfishly for equality in public education for all citizens of Prince Edward.

Johns, who was 16 years old, encouraged students and families to take a stand and those actions transformed Prince Edward.

In 2008, a statue of Johns was placed on the Capitol grounds in Richmond.

When the Moton Museum Council desired a permanent exhibit in the Moton Museum, the funding and dedicated support unfortunately came from other parts of Virginia. Despite the lack of support locally, a state-of-the-art exhibit was opened in 2013.

The most recent acknowledgment came from Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who renamed the Attorney General’s Office as the Barbara Rose Johns Building.

State Sen. Mark Peake has introduced a Senate Joint Resolution in the Virginia General Assembly that would designate April 23 as Barbara Rose Johns Day in Virginia.

Lastly, Ken Woodley was instrumental in getting the light of reconciliation in the courthouse and the marker on the grounds of the courthouse.

Would it be no more than right to have the town in which these historical events originated, recognize what Johns and the student plaintiffs of Prince Edward did to make a difference?

Farmville, what are you waiting on?

Joy Cabarrus Speakes

Darlington Heights