Moton Museum: There are awards and events to mention

Published 5:01 pm Thursday, March 7, 2024

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We enter Women’s History Month on the back of a very busy Black History Month at Moton. From K-12 schools and the Girl Scouts of the Commonwealth as well as civic groups and nursing homes, our team has been all over the Commonwealth sharing the Moton School story. There are more great things happening this spring.

We were thrilled to have had the Virginia Council for Social Studies (VCSS) Conference here in Farmville at Longwood University from March 1 to March 3. At the event, Cameron Patterson, Senior Partner for Strategic Initiatives and I accepted the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion award from the VCSS organization and Kaur Foundation. We were even more thrilled to have the closing plenary by Mrs. Joan Johns Cobbs for the conference. 

Talking about the children

Join us on March 16 at Moton as we welcome Tim Spofford, author of What The Children Told Us, discussing the impact of Drs. Kenneth and Mamie Phipps Clark’s legendary doll experiment on the landmark Supreme Court case, Brown v. Board of Education.

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His book delves into how the Clarks’ experiment with brown and white dolls became a cornerstone in the fight against segregated school systems, influencing the landmark Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. the Board of Education in 1954.

The event will feature a discussion facilitated by Moton’s Associate Director of Education and Collections Leah Brown, offering attendees a unique opportunity to dive deep into the themes of the book and the historical context it covers. 

Following the discussion, there will be a Q&A session, allowing the audience to engage directly with Spofford and further explore the book’s insights and implications. The book is not just a recounting of historical facts; it’s a narrative that unfolds like a novel, bringing to light the Clarks’ legacy as pioneers in the struggle for civil rights and their continued impact on contemporary studies and social activism. 

On March 20 at 8 p.m. at Moton, join us as we host an evening with Jacinda Townsend as part of the Longwood Authors Series. This is an annual literary celebration that brings guest authors to share their work and connect with our community. This year, we are excited to have Townsend, the acclaimed author of Mother Country, winner of the 2023 Ernest Gaines Award for Literary Excellence and a finalist for both the Mark Twain American Voice in Literature and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Awards.

Also, many thanks to our March 5 Prayer Leaders. Our Next Moton Community Prayer Breakfast will be on April 2 at 7:30 a.m. inside the Moton Museum. 

A path to freedom

Join us on April 6 and April 13 for a unique collaboration between the Robert Russa Moton Museum and Patrick Henry’s Red Hill in a compelling two-day event that connects the histories of our two sites by providing, in chronological order, Black Virginia’s path towards freedom. This event dives deep into the journey from the Early Republic to the Civil Rights Era, weaving a continuous narrative of Black Virginia’s history and the quest for equality. 

By participating in both days, attendees will gain in-depth insights into the resilience and enduring legacy of these critical periods in history. We eagerly anticipate welcoming you to this enlightening journey. Admission is free, lunch provided for both days. For convenience a free shuttle bus will depart from the Red Hill to Moton at 9 am. Please indicate if you or your group would like to ride this bus when reserving your free tickets. Find more information on the site.

Our annual Moton LIVE Day of Giving Event will take place on Sat. April 27 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Join us for an educational and entertaining content relating to the Moton story. We hope you will help us continue to commemorate the past, seize the moment, and pledge to the future!

Cainan Townsend is the executive director of the Moton Museum. He can be reached at