Media: Slideshow

Free Schools in Prince Edward County

Registration for Free School No. 2

African American students and adults gather outside Free School No. 2 (later named the Mary E. Branch School) in Farmville to register for the school, which formally opened on September 16, 1963. For some of the students it would be their first experience in school since 1959, when the Prince Edward County school board decided to close the public schools rather than integrate them. Free School No. 2 was one of three local school buildings leased for a year by the Prince Edward Free School Association with the support of the Kennedy administration and private funds.

Original Author: Unknown

Created: 1963

Medium: Photograph

Courtesy of James Branch Cabell Library, Special Collections and Archives, VCU Libraries

Registering for School in Farmville

Students, probably accompanied by their mothers, gather at a table to register for Free School No. 2 (later named the Mary E. Branch School), which formally opened on September 16, 1963. For some of the students it would be their first experience in school since 1959, when the Prince Edward County school board decided to close the public schools rather than integrate them. Free School No. 2 was one of three local school buildings leased for a year by the Prince Edward Free School Association with the support of the Kennedy administration and private funds.

Original Author: Unknown

Created: Probably August 21, 1963

Medium: Photograph

Courtesy of James Branch Cabell Library, Special Collections and Archives, VCU Libraries

Mary E. Branch School in Farmville

Children enter the Mary E. Branch School in Farmville on September 16, 1963, some to attend their first formal classes since 1959, when the Prince Edward County school board closed the public schools rather than integrate them. This was also referred to as Free School No. 2—one of three local school buildings leased for a year by the Prince Edward Free School Association with the support of the Kennedy administration and private funds.

Original Author: Thomas J. O'Halloran

Created: September 16, 1963

Medium: Photograph

Courtesy of Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division

Free School Classroom

On September 8, 1964, an unidentified teacher in Prince Edward County conducts class in a Free School, an educational facility established the previous year. While Virginia ended its statewide policy of Massive Resistance to school desegregation in 1959, school officials in Prince Edward County closed public schools rather than integrate them. While white students quickly moved into Prince Edward Academy—a new private school supported by state-approved tuition grants and donations from ardent segregationists—black students were left without any educational facilities. In 1963, nearly 2,000 black students of Prince Edward County were invited to return to formal classes through the assistance of the new, privately organized Prince Edward Free School Association, which leased three of the closed public school facilities for one year with the support of the Kennedy administration and private funds. During the 1963–1964 school year, about 1,500 students (including four white children) attended the Free Schools.

Original Author: Richmond Times-Dispatch

Created: September 8, 1964

Medium: Photograph

Courtesy of the Richmond Times-Dispatch

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  • Registration for Free School No. 2

    African American students and adults gather outside Free School No. 2 (later named the Mary E. Branch School) in Farmville to register for the school, which formally opened on September 16, 1963. For some of the students it would be their first experience in school since 1959, when the Prince Edward County school board decided to close the public schools rather than integrate them. Free School No. 2 was one of three local school buildings leased for a year by the Prince Edward Free School Association with the support of the Kennedy administration and private funds.

    Original Author: Unknown

    Created: 1963

    Medium: Photograph

    Courtesy of James Branch Cabell Library, Special Collections and Archives, VCU Libraries

  • Registering for School in Farmville

    Students, probably accompanied by their mothers, gather at a table to register for Free School No. 2 (later named the Mary E. Branch School), which formally opened on September 16, 1963. For some of the students it would be their first experience in school since 1959, when the Prince Edward County school board decided to close the public schools rather than integrate them. Free School No. 2 was one of three local school buildings leased for a year by the Prince Edward Free School Association with the support of the Kennedy administration and private funds.

    Original Author: Unknown

    Created: Probably August 21, 1963

    Medium: Photograph

    Courtesy of James Branch Cabell Library, Special Collections and Archives, VCU Libraries

  • Mary E. Branch School in Farmville

    Children enter the Mary E. Branch School in Farmville on September 16, 1963, some to attend their first formal classes since 1959, when the Prince Edward County school board closed the public schools rather than integrate them. This was also referred to as Free School No. 2—one of three local school buildings leased for a year by the Prince Edward Free School Association with the support of the Kennedy administration and private funds.

    Original Author: Thomas J. O'Halloran

    Created: September 16, 1963

    Medium: Photograph

    Courtesy of Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division

  • Free School Classroom

    On September 8, 1964, an unidentified teacher in Prince Edward County conducts class in a Free School, an educational facility established the previous year. While Virginia ended its statewide policy of Massive Resistance to school desegregation in 1959, school officials in Prince Edward County closed public schools rather than integrate them. While white students quickly moved into Prince Edward Academy—a new private school supported by state-approved tuition grants and donations from ardent segregationists—black students were left without any educational facilities. In 1963, nearly 2,000 black students of Prince Edward County were invited to return to formal classes through the assistance of the new, privately organized Prince Edward Free School Association, which leased three of the closed public school facilities for one year with the support of the Kennedy administration and private funds. During the 1963–1964 school year, about 1,500 students (including four white children) attended the Free Schools.

    Original Author: Richmond Times-Dispatch

    Created: September 8, 1964

    Medium: Photograph

    Courtesy of the Richmond Times-Dispatch