LEFT TO RIGHT: The Rev. J. Samuel Williams Jr. speaks at Turner Ashby High School on Tuesday about the 1951 student strike he participated in while attending the all-black, segregated Robert Russa Moton High School in Farmville. Seated with him is Joan Johns Cobbs, the younger sister of strike organizer Barbara Rose Johns, and Joy Cabarrus Speakes, a 12-year-old student at the time. Several of the Farmville students became plaintiffs in the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education case in which the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling would lead to desegregating the nation’s public schools. (Photos by Nikki Fox / DN-R)
Rockingham County high school students react to the Rev. J. Samuel Williams Jr.’s story about the 1951 student strike he participated in while attending the segregated Robert Russa Moton High School in Farmville. Williams was 17 and Joan Johns Cobbs, who also spoke, was 13 when Cobbs' sister, Barbara Rose Johns, and a few trusted friends orchestrated a schoolwide assembly.