Closure of the Moton School
Robert Russa Moton High School in Farmville, Virginia, photographed during the period of "Massive Resistance" in which Virginia state and local officials closed public schools rather than comply with Supreme Court desegregation mandates. This particular building had opened in 1953 as a modern facility for black students, partially in response to the 1951 student strike at the previous Moton School, a collection of tarpaper and plywood buildings with minimal facilities. The strike drew the attention of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), which filed suit to end segregation in Prince Edward County schools. That case was bundled into Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, and the resulting 1954 and 1955 Supreme Court decisions paved the way for Virginia's official policy of Massive Resistance and eventual statewide desegregation.