‘It’s about time’

Published 12:42 pm Tuesday, April 18, 2017

We commend the Farmville Town Council for stepping up and naming the Farmville-Prince Edward Community Library after civil rights pioneer Barbara Rose Johns.

“I think that this has been going along too long,” Ward D Councilman Donald Hunter said during a March special town council meeting on the subject. “We probably should have done something years ago in reference to naming something in the Town of Farmville since this whole ordeal took place in Farmville. To me, it’s about time for us to do something.”

We agree with Hunter in that this decision has filled a void in Farmville.

After the unanimous vote of council, Central Virginia Regional Library Director Rick Ewing noted his support.

“I think that anything to honor Barbara Rose Johns in the town of Farmville, who has (had) such an impact locally, statewide and nationally, is a good thing. And the library makes a certain amount of sense. She left here and got her library degree and worked in a library in Philadelphia for a number of years.”

As we’ve said here before more than once, 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.

According to Ward C Councilman and Vice Mayor A.D. “Chuckie” Reid and slides displayed on monitors in the council’s chambers last Wednesday, the granite slab in front of the library on West Third Street will have Johns’ name added to it. A plaque commemorating Johns will be placed on the exterior of the library, he said. Both are most appropriate, we think.

To people of all ages and from all walks of life, the decision of the Farmville Town Council will help further Johns’ story of courage, hope and standing up for doing what’s right in the face of adversity.