Virginia Civil Rights Memorial
Located in the shadow of the former Confederate Capitol, the Virginia Civil Rights Memorial commemorated the long movement that led to the desegregation of Virginia's schools. The memorial was opened in July 2008. It features eighteen statues of leaders in the civil rights movement, including high school student Barbara Johns. At the age of 16, Barbara Johns lead a high school walkout to protest the inequality of segregated schools.
Backstory and Context
This walkout caught the attention of the NAACP lawyers who were working throughout the country on issues of race. A federal suit was brought to Richmond, Virgina. The Davis v. Prince Edward illustrated the inequalities between White and African American educations. After significant deliberation the Supreme Court officially ended segregation in public schools throughout the United States.
The Virginia Civil Rights Memorial was constructed on the grounds of the Virginia Capitol in 2008. The artsit commissioned for this was Stanley Bleifeld. The memorial depicts various civil rights leaders coming forward from the granite base. The base includes quotes from Barbara Johns and Thurgood Marshall. The sculpture of the monument is notable because it depicts the figures more naturally than many monuments.