Keynote Speaker Anne Holton
Former Commonwealth Secretary of Education & the Wife of Senator Tim Kaine
The renown Joy Cabarrus Speakes was the Emcee. Joy was one of the original strikers of the Robert Russa Moton High School in 1951, led by 16-year-old Barbara Johns, for better facilities.
This strike eventually led to the Brown v. Board of Education landmark supreme court case of 1954 (there is a detailed interview of Joy and more about the Brown case in my book: Driven To Succeed:…);
The Keynote Speaker was Anne Holton, former Commonwealth Secretary of Education & the wife of Senator Tim Kaine (Senator Kaine was Hillary Clinton’s VP candidate, and The VP Debate was held in historic Farmville last year. I was honored to be one of the Moton speakers before the VP debate);
Senator Kaine introduced his wife who was inspiring and shared some personal stories of her childhood during integration. She indicated that when her father was Governor of Va, he said in his 1970 inaugural speech that the defiance to Brown v. Board of Education ends now and set out to integrate all the schools in Va. (see photos of the Moton Museum, the program, Longwood University President, Dr. Taylor Reveley, & other speakers).
Barbara Johns’ sister, Joan Johns Cobb & brother, Ernest, were presented with a plaque honoring their sister, Barbara Johns Powell.
The plaque connoted a Resolution where the Va General Assembly just approved “April 23rd” as “Barbara Johns Day”, starting April 23rd, 2018, and annually thereafter (66 years after the Strike at R. R. Moton High School on April 23rd, 1951).
Dr. Washington Receives Award
I was humbled to be one of the honorees presented by the Moton Family Challenge Committee–because of my promotions/contributions via my book to the Moton Museum.
I think the whole world should know the significance of the Moton Museum; the part the strike at R. R. Moton High School in 1951 played in the civil right movement; and that more people would donate if they knew the Moton Story (The photos of the museum, the Moton High School marker and other photos commemorating the annual community banquet).
Now for the clincher and the exciting revelation I discovered that was such an eye-opener: Have seen the movie, “Hidden Figures” and remember the great mathematician (Dorothy Vaughan) who worked at NASA and helped to calculate the figures for the space launch, played by Octavia Spencer?
Well, I discovered that Dorothy Vaughan use to be the math teacher at the segregated R. R. Moton High School in Farmville, Va and taught many notable blacks who went on to be doctors, lawyers, preachers, teachers and even politicians.
She was such an outstanding math teacher that she was recruited by NASA, and she left Moton High School to go work at segregated NASA. She did so for the sake of mankind and used her brilliant mind to make a contribution to the future.
Though deceased now, her contribution to R. R. Moton’s legacy lives on at the Moton Museum, in all of Farmville & in the history of the nation.
A tribute was made in her honor and her protrayal and recognition in the “Hidden Figures” movie.
Her daughter, Anne Vaughan Hammond (lovely lady in a white jacket photo) who lives in Hampton, Va. received the award on behalf of her mother and made touching and salient remarks about her mom and the other brilliant African-American women who also went to work at NASA.
Author’s Event Notes
Although schools were segregated back then with dilapidated facilities, left-over and torn books from the white schools, our teachers were EXCELLENT. They taught ALL the students to the highest level of our potential–and they had no behavior problems that they could not handle. They didn’t have to place the students in special education or on medication for being labeled as emotionally disturbed, ADHD (Attention Deficient Hyperactive Disorder) and/or other depressing mislabels.
Kudos to all teachers teaching today trained by those type of no-nonsense, high-expectation teachers who encouraged ALL of their students to articulate & speak correctly and to think critically and write convincingly.
As I train teachers today at Coppin State University (an HBCU), I encourage all of my teachers to see the “gifts” in every single child (as Mrs. Vaughan did) and teach to their strengths; urge parents to get involved with their child’s teacher/s and point out their child’s positive attributes and strengths. Parents are their child’s first teachers, and they know their child best.
Many of my own effective teaching strategies were learned and emulated from my elementary teacher (Mrs. Mamie D. Brown) down here in my segregated two-room schoolhouse (Levi Elem. Sch. in Green Bay, Va), a few miles from Farmville.
I hope you enjoyed attending vicariously this memorable Moton banquet as I traveled back to my childhood home town.
I share my successful strategies how to teach and reach ALL Children, especially boys of color, my book at: (drhnwashington.com), at the Moton Museum (www.motonmuseum.org)or where books are sold. Blessings
(Dr. Hattie Washington)