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Robert Russa Moton Museum, Farmville

4.7
#169 of 317 in Museums in Virginia
History Museum · Hidden Gem · Museum
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The Robert Russa Moton Museum (popularly known as the Moton Museum or Moton) is a historic site and museum in Farmville, Prince Edward County, Virginia. It is located in the former Robert Russa Moton High School, considered "the student birthplace of America's Civil Rights Movement" for its initial student strike and ultimate role in the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education case desegregating public schools. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1998, and is now a museum dedicated to that history. In 2022 it was designated an affiliated area of Brown v. Board of Education National Historical Park. The museum (and school) were named for African-American educator Robert Russa Moton.

The former Moton School is a single-story brick Colonial Revival building, built in 1939 in response to activism and legal challenges from the local African-American community and legal challenges from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). It houses six classrooms and an office arranged around a central auditorium. It had no cafeteria or restrooms for teachers. Built to handle 180 students, already by the 1940s it struggled to hold 450; the County, whose all-white board refused to appropriate funds for properly expanding the school facilities, built long temporary buildings to house the overflow. Covered with roofing material, they were called the "tar-paper shacks."
To visit Robert Russa Moton Museum on your trip to Farmville, use our Farmville trip website.
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Robert Russa Moton Museum reviews

TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 5.0
33 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • If one is truly interested in the truth of history, this is a must visit. It is a powerful reminder of Virginia's not-so-pleasant historical period of massive resistance to integration. 
    If one is truly interested in the truth of history, this is a must visit. It is a powerful reminder of Virginia's not-so-pleasant historical period of massive resistance to integration.  more »
  • Great museum. The old school where segregated education happened. Great storytelling about the brave people who fought segregated school. Well done timeline and chronological gallery’s. Must see 
    Great museum. The old school where segregated education happened. Great storytelling about the brave people who fought segregated school. Well done timeline and chronological gallery’s. Must see  more »
  • This is a special place and will completely overwhelm you with knowledge of the students of the Farmville area and their plight to be integrated with other children. There is so much to learn and... 
    This is a special place and will completely overwhelm you with knowledge of the students of the Farmville area and their plight to be integrated with other children. There is so much to learn and...  more »
Google
  • A very well-done museum that offers a walk through this very specific history that created enormous national change. I learned so much in the 1.5 hours I was there. I had the place to myself on a Tuesday afternoon.
  • Put this on your must see list of Virginia and National history. Not the proudest part of VA history for many perhaps, but one we need to know about. The exhibits are very well done and tell the story of students trying to get what they were promised and winding up being part of something larger. There is triumph and tragedy fairly explained. Absolutely see the film at the beginning and then tour the exhibits. Learn something about the Civil Rights movement you likely did not hear in school.
  • Your chance to step back to a challenging period, in time, for the black community in terms of educational equality. I think the museum content and presentation is wonderful. The museum offers an opportunity to learn about the struggle with photos, displays and videos. There is museum store offering books and other material about that period of time and it's people. Visit this museum if travaling in the area. It's a short drive from Lynchburg and Appomattox. Farmville offers other historical locations such as the High Bridge Trail and the bridge itself.
  • My teenage daughter and I enjoyed this museum and would highly recommend it. It's free to enter and definitely worth a stop if you are in the area. Don't skip the movie at the beginning, since the interviews with former students help the history come alive.
  • So much history that I wasn't aware of of. Well presented exhibits, our tour guide was well versed in the history, the people, the politics and geography of that time. Very impactful. More people need to know about this! Very timely as we struggle still today with what equality truly means.

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