While many in the town called for patience, 16-year-old Barbara Johns refused to wait. With a few other classmates, she quietly organized the entire student body. On April 23, 1951, the principal was lured off campus, and all 450 students were called into the auditorium. After the students asked the teachers to leave, Barbara convinced her classmates that they should walk out until a new building was under construction.
Barbara Johns, shown here with her high school teacher. Johns’s name did not appear on the lawsuit. Fearing for her safety, her parents sent her to live with her uncle in Montgomery, Alabama.
(Courtesy of John Arthur Stokes)
Farmville, Virginia (page 1)