The design for the civil rights memorial, which is to be placed on the grounds of the State Capitol, was unveiled yesterday. Here’s a link to some pictures – I wasn’t sure about posting them here without prior permission. The statue will be placed outside the gates of the executive mansion.
The statue commission has created a very informative webpage with information about the statue design, the artist, the commission members, and some civil rights history.
The statue depicts scenes related to the 1951 Morton High School student protest in Farmville, which led to the lawsuit Davis v. County School Board of Prince Edward County. The case was argued by Oliver Hill and Spotswood Robinson, III, and eventually joined four other cases to become Brown V. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas.
They’ve also posted links to first-person accounts of the Farmville protest, audio clips of interviews with students who participated, and an audio interview with Oliver Hill.
I think this is a great moment in Virginia history; our state government has finally started acknowledging our painful past and lifting up heroes who fought the injustice perpetrated, in part, by our state government. Doubtless there will be those who say that a statue is not enough to right past wrongs, and I agree with them, but I still want to celebrate milestones when they happen. And changing the history told through public memorials is a necessary step towards forming a more just and inclusive community here in Virginia.