Pine Grove premiere set for Friday night at Moton

Published 10:09 am Thursday, April 4, 2024

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Pine Grove is more than just a school. That’s something everyone involved in the project agrees on. Now more people will get to see what the school and the history surrounding it means to Cumberland residents, through a new documentary, Pine Grove: More Than A School. The premiere of the new film will be at the Moton Museum on Friday, April 5. 

And Pine Grove is most certainly an important part of Cumberland’s history. Booker T. Washington came up with the concept. The idea was to create a system of schools for African American students. Finished in 1917, the Pine Grove School is one of six such schools in Cumberland County. It served as a school until 1964, when it closed. Beyond that, Pine Grove served as a community center and was a gathering place when local residents wanted to get together. 

And the documentary puts a spotlight on all that, through stories told by members of the community and former students. 

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“Built in 1917 to educate African American children in the South during the Jim Crow era, the historic schoolhouse is now listed on America’s Most Endangered Historic Places,” wrote Producers Janelle Proulx and Tyler Kirby, as they described the film for its entry at the highly acclaimed Justice Film Festival in New York City in February 2024.

Dr. Kwesi A. Daniels, the distinguished department head and associate professor of architecture at The Robert R. Taylor School of Architecture and Construction Science at Tuskegee University, will be the keynote speaker. 

What is the Pine Grove Project? 

So we’ve talked about the documentary, but what about the group organizing this premiere? The AMMD Pine Grove Project is an organization that seeks to protect and preserve the legacy of the school and the African-American community it served for decades. The project initially started when the families tied to the school learned that the school was going to be sold due to delinquent taxes. The family and friends raised enough money to save the school. Through the years, the group has been able to get the Pine Grove School included in the Virginia Landmark Register and National Register of Historic Places.

What do I need to know? 

So where do I go? How do I buy tickets? The premiere will be Friday at 5 p.m. at the Moton Museum, located at 900 Griffin Avenue in Farmville. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased online at