I am so sorry to have missed yesterday’s unveiling of the Civil Rights Memorial on Richmond’s Capitol Square. The memorial honors Barbara Johns, as well as other students, who protested the physical condition of their school in Prince Edward County. The resulting lawsuit, which was handled by Oliver Hill and Spottswood Robinson III eventually came to the U.S. Supreme Court with four other lawsuits
as Brown v. the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas. As is well known this led to the
landmark 1954 ruling that racially separate school systems are
unconstitutional. This is the first time that a woman or African American has been honored in an area that includes some wonderful statues to Confederate heroes and George Washington. This is a worthy addition and one that Virginians can feel much pride in.
Commemorating an Important Moment in Virginia History
Searching for Black Confederates: The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth
“Levin’s study is the first of its kind to blueprint and then debunk the mythology of enslaved African Americans who allegedly served voluntarily in behalf of the Confederacy.”–Journal of Southern History