She Stepped Up: Barbara Johns Starts the Fight for Equality in Education
Rebecca Keese, author
In 1951 in Farmville, Virginia, Barbara Johns launched a strike at her high school demanding a school equal to the one for white students. The resulting lawsuit, initiated by students, became part of the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision outlawing school segregation. Barbara didn't know she was starting a thirteen-year national fight for equality in education. She just did what she thought was right. Virginia legislated Massive Resistance keeping schools segregated. From 1959-1964, Farmville closed all public schools but used public tax money to open white academies, leaving African Americans uneducated.