Always remember

Published 2:49 pm Thursday, May 30, 2019

One of the largest takeaways from the commemoration of the 65th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, which deemed segregation in public schools to be unconstitutional, and the 60th anniversary of the closing of Prince Edward public schools; and the 55th anniversary of Griffin v. County School Board of Prince Edward, which reopened schools, is the impact these events have in the county currently.

Echoing the numerous Prince Edward residents who spoke about the catastrophic impact that the decision to deny children education has had on their ability to find a job, pursue their careers, pursue their education and create roadblocks for every aspect of their lives: You do not get over it. Nor should you.

If the mindset that those affected should just get over it is the belief that you hold, please consider if you were a child, or you have a child, and your county’s school was boarded up because of the color his or her skin. Segregation is no longer constitutional. However, we still have a long way to go to dismantle racial injustice on a local and national level.

The voices who spoke the loudest were absent. During a question and answer period, a resident asked where those most affected by the closures were, who were never able to completely relearn how to read, write or find a job. The lost generation represents the hundreds of unaccounted students who suffered as a result of the closure.

Thank you to everyone who made this event happen: The Rev. J. Samuel Williams Jr.; Davis v. County School Board of Prince Edward plaintiffs Floyd Bland, Joy Cabarrus Speaks and Bertha Early Shepperson; those affected by the school closures who included Robert Hamlin, the Rev. Everett Berryman, Carl U. Eggleston, Elsie R. Walker; and to Vincent Eanes and his son, Rita Odom Moseley and her son and Melvin Nunnally and her daughter, who spoke about the multi-generational impact of these events; Cameron Patterson, Cainan Townsend, everyone with the Moton Museum; James Ghee, president of the Prince Edward NAACP and every NAACP who take action to improve the lives of Prince Edward residents; Longwood University History Professor Dr. Larissa Smith Fergeson; Prince Edward Commonwealth’s Attorney Megan Clark as moderator.

Thank you for speaking up, for not allowing these events to be forgotten.

EMILY HOLLINGSWORTH is a staff reporter for The Farmville Herald and Farmville Newsmedia LLC. Her email address is Emily.Hollingsworth@FarmvilleHerald.com.