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The Bookshelf: Sept. 17, 2015

In this week's Bookshelf, our content partner Kirkus Reviews highlights Something Must be Done About Prince Edward County.

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Trib+Edu is joining with respected books authority Kirkus Reviews to bring you select reviews of books of note in the field of education. For more book reviews and recommendations, visit

SOMETHING MUST BE DONE ABOUT PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY: A Family, a Virginia Town, a Civil Rights Battle

by Kristen Green

Little-remembered today is the story of the late-1950s closure of the Prince Edward public schools and the fate of its black children, who were either deprived of education or separated from their families and dispersed into other states. The struggle resulted in a Supreme Court ruling, Griffin v. County School Board of Prince Edward County (1964), which ordered the schools to integrate. Despite the ruling, however, another 22 years would pass before the county’s all-white academy was integrated ...Well before integration became an order, they were ready to padlock the schools and divert resources to their race-based replacement. In 2008, Green, a graduate of the whites-only academy, discovered that her grandfather had taken a lead role in the project from the beginning, in order “to maintain the purity of the white race” and avoid the raising of “half-black, half-white babies … nobody wants.” The author movingly chronicles her discovery of the truth about her background and her efforts to promote reconciliation and atonement. A potent introduction to a nearly forgotten part of the civil rights movement and a personalized reminder of what it was truly about.

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