Former student activist to speak April 26
John Stokes, one of the organizers of the 1951 high school student walk-out in Prince Edward County, will speak at the University on April 26 at 4 p.m. in the Newcomb Hall Art Gallery. Stokes and a group of schoolmates, met in secret to plan the protest over the deplorable conditions at their school. They later enlisted the legal help of the NAACP, and their lawsuit eventually was folded into the U.S. Supreme Court case, Brown v. Board of Education.
When Stokes attended Moton High School in Farmville, Va., the school was overcrowded with more than 450 students in a building designed to hold 180. The county built three tarpaper structures as a remedy, delaying the construction of a new building for the blacks-only high school.
The school building became a national historic landmark, and the Robert Russa Moton Museum and Center for the Study of Civil Rights in Education opened its doors 50 years later in 2001.
Stokes continued his education and eventually became a school principal in Baltimore until he retired in 1994.
His talk, which is free and open to the public, was organized by Assistant professor of education Selena Cozart for the University Seminar she teaches on the legacy of the Brown decision.