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I spent the day at the Free Schools Association archive at the historic black college VSU. Amidst the boxes of correspondences and receipts for supplies, I found that Neil Sullivan, the superintendent, methodically evaluated the effectiveness and culture of the Free Schools almost from the first day. I found the survey given to teachers after the first month of school.
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See the evolving history of The Southern, pre 2013, below.
Tonight, I remembered having to memorize the facts of Plessy v. Ferguson in high school for an American History exam. I remember at the time trying to memorize the name and significance: it declared that it was legal to have different public spaces for black and white people. In my head, because I was trying to pass the exam, the only space that I consciously thought about was a leisure train, which I had never been on at the time. Continue reading Plessy v. Ferguson
I’m reading a book with great overview of the messy history of school integration : Brown v. Board of Education: A Civil Rights Milestone and Its Troubled Legacy by James T. Patterson. This book is making me think that the battles for integrated public schools are where this country became what it is today (and current public school battles still speak to larger issues in our community and culture… just check out what has happened in my current hometown of Tuscaloosa, AL in the last six months here and now here )
But today is about weird Farmville and has nothing to do with all of that (maybe…).
The house I stay in is across the street from a recent mass-murder house. Find out more here.
Just so we know what we are dealing with here, I give you the Longwood University creed:
Farmville, VA is one those places where a lot has happened in a very small geographic area. It is possible to see the direct reactive effects of these things: from slavery to The Civil War to Jim Crow to Brown v Board of Education to Massive Resistance to desegregation to now. I wonder how having so much happen in such a small area can affect the general psyche of a place.