It could be said that Barbara Rose Johns is Virginia’s Rosa Parks. Unfortunately, very few people have ever heard the story of how this brave young 16-year-old caused a quiet revolution in the small town of Farmville, the ripples of which would be felt throughout the state and the nation for years to come.
The Capitol Square Civil Rights Memorial will, once and for all, recognize and celebrate Barbara Johns, her fellow students from Robert Russa Moton High School, their parents, and community leaders and civil rights attorneys. These Virginians risked everything in the struggle to gain full and equal rights for all. The memorial was installed in July 2008 on the grounds of Virginia’s historic state capitol. It celebrates these heroes and also serves to remind us of the debt we all owe to the sacrifice and courage of a few.