Cainan Townsend: Moton looks through October and beyond

Editor’s note: This is the first of a new monthly column from the staff at the Moton Museum, updating readers about upcoming events and looking back on local history.


Cainan Townsend

October is here and great things are happening at Moton! Coming out of September, we released a captivating piece featuring Rev. J. Samuel Williams speaking on the legacy of Rev. L. Francis Griffin. You should check that video out on our Facebook and YouTube pages in observance of Rev. L. Francis Griffin Day here in the county. We are excited to carry that momentum into the fall season.

October at the Moton Museum means lots of great community events, college visitors from Longwood University and Hampden-Sydney College; continued work with our Bridge Builder programs, and much more!

A very big thanks to all of those who continue to support our Moton Community Prayer Breakfasts sponsored by Centra Southside Community Hospital. Our final breakfast of the calendar year will be on Nov. 7 at 7:30am inside the Moton Museum. We hope to see you all there. If you would like to be a prayer leader, please reach out to museum staff.

In October we are very excited to be hosting or cosponsoring three amazing events themed around literature. The Virginia Children’s Book Festival (VCBF) kicks-off on the 11th and we are very excited to again sponsor the Hip Hop in Children’s Literature program! This is the 10th anniversary of the festival. I certainly remember volunteering for the festival at Moton long before the Hip Hop program. It has been a joy to watch the festival grow over the years. Congratulations to the VCBF on their recent award through the Library of Congress for successful practices!

On Saturday Oct. 14, at 10 a.m., the Moton Museum will host an Author Talk on the book A little child shall lead them. The text is a documentary account of the fight for desegregation in Prince Edward County. It is a phenomenal compilation of primary sources and would be a great resource for students and classrooms. The book’s author, Brian Grogan, will be in attendance to discuss and answer questions. The event is free and open to the public!

And our final Author Talk and book signing on Friday, Oct. 28, will feature the book We Are Your Children Too: Black Student, White Supremacists, and The Battle for America’s Schools in Prince Edward County, Virginia. Author P. O’Connell Pearson will be in attendance for the signing and talk. This book is an amazing reader for all audiences, but especially the youth.

Additionally, we are preparing for a busy 2024! Next year will mark the 70th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education. This anniversary will come with significant programming associated with it. Reach out if you are interested in volunteering at the museum.

As we get into the holidays, don’t forget we have a well-stocked bookstore at the museum. You can find some great souvenirs and a huge selection of books. We also feature beauty items from local vendors so check our store often for new items. Make it a point to check out our webpage and social media platforms for more details and updates!!

CAINAN TOWNSEND is the executive director of the Moton Museum. He can be reached at