Friday, November 1, 2013

The Lost Generation of Prince Edward County, Virginia

Equality under the law, the lost generation of Prince Edward County. (1965)

In 1959, Prince Edward County, Virginia, closed its public schools rather than integrate them. White children went to publicly aided private schools while black students went to free schools staffed by volunteers. In 1964, the Supreme Court ordered the schools opened to all, but 90 percent of the whites stayed in private schools. The film shows a whites-only prom off-campus in a private club. Lots of poignant interviews by director John Barnes, with people fearing mixed marriages, etc. The film was co-written by Barnes and Linda Gottlieb. From EB's 'Our Living Bill of Rights' series. More on John Barnes at  (source: Virginia Archives)

US SLAVE BLOG: This documentary is an excellent primary source that uses authentic voices and images 10 years after the Brown v. Board Decision. and 6 years after the schools were closed in 1959.  America still struggles with these same conflicts and remedies 50 years later.  Currently, the big buzz words in education began with the Massive Resistance Campaigns against the Brown Decision, such as "privatization," "school choice," "Charter Schools," "Private Academies,"  "States Rights," and etc. and these were the exact same phrases used to justify closing down the school system, so the white kids weren't contaminated by the taint of negro students.   

Have patience, because the video loads slowly, but it is well worth the wait. 


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