Decision should unify

Published 9:29 am Tuesday, March 28, 2017

We offer our thanks and appreciation to the Farmville Town Council for voting unanimously Friday to honor civil rights pioneer Barbara Rose Johns by adding her name to that of the Farmville-Prince Edward Community Library.

Council’s decision, suggesting the addition of her name to that of the library, will be followed by members of the Prince Edward County Board of Supervisors considering the honor jointly with town officials.

It’s our hope that supervisors will follow suit, honoring Johns in such a unique and appropriate way in naming the library after her.

Moreover, it’s our hope this idea, which we’ve advocated for since February, will materialize as a symbol of unity and coming together of county supervisors and town council members — just as Johns united people across Prince Edward County and the United States of America when she sparked the flame that would lead to the Brown v. Board of Education decision that would lead to the integration of public schools across the nation.

As we’ve said here before, a place such as a library — where people, both young and old, no matter their economic or social circumstances in life, come to learn, access resources and enrich their lives — is very fitting to honor the work Johns’ did to better the nation through her leading the strike from the then R.R. Moton High School in 1951. A center for learning and expansion of thought — traits the United States was built upon — is a very fitting place to bear the name of this late civil rights leader.

In our first editorial calling regarding honoring Johns, we encouraged town and county leaders to rename the Farmville-Prince Edward Community Library as the Barbara Rose Johns Community Library. While we agree and commend the latest action of town council, we hope supervisors and council members will keep the idea of renaming the library as the Barbara Rose Johns Community Library on the table as they move forward together.