Edward H. Peeples Prince Edward County (Va.) public schools
Photographs of African American schools in Prince Edward County, Virginia from the 1950s and 1960s.
More About This Collection
Date of Original
Schools--Virginia--Prince Edward County--History--Pictorial works
African American schools--Virginia--Prince Edward County--History--Pictorial works
African Americans--Education--Virginia--Prince Edward County--History--Pictorial works
Segregation in education--Virginia--Prince Edward County--History--Pictorial works
Education--Virginia--Prince Edward County--History--Pictorial works
Prince Edward County (Va.)--Race relations--History--Pictorial works
During the 1950s Prince Edward County would become the focus of the public schools desegregation issue in Virginia. On 23 April 1951, African American students at Robert Russa Moton High School walked out to protest squalid conditions at the segregated site. The students' challenge to Virginia's public school segreation law eventually became one of five such complaints heard in the landmark Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court case. In 1954, the nine Justices ruled unanimously in favor of the students, overturning the "Separate But Equal" precedent established by Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896. The decision also set in motion a course of "Massive Resistance" by segregationists and the Virginia political power structure. In Prince Edward County, rather than integrate their public schools, segregationists chose instead to close their public schools from 1959-1964. Between 1961 and 1963, Dr. Edward H. Peeples photographed over 100 images of schools in Prince Edward County. In addition to taking photographs of segregated public schools that had been in use prior to 1959, he also took images of the private schools established after the public schools did not open in 1959. These photographs are illustrative of the lack of resources provided by the state and the county for its African American students. The collection includes the digital reproductions of Dr. Peeples' original images as well as his original annotations. It also includes additional photographs taken between 1988 and 2003, digitized maps of the region, and several of Dr. Peeples' written works in order to provide context for the early 1960s images. GIS coordinates are provided for the buildings in the 1960s photographs.
James Branch Cabell Library. Special Collections and Archives