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Freedom Now Project

Images from the summer of 1963, Farmville, Va.

In 1959 Prince Edward County, Va. closed its public schools in defiance of court-ordered desegregation.

By the summer of 1963 the African-American community had waited long enough.

It was time for a Program of Action. Time for Freedom. Now.

The Freedom Now Project displays images from VCU Libraries’ Digital Collections documenting the Farmville civil rights protests. The images show how events unfolded that summer and how other townspeople and the news media responded to the protesters.

Since the photographs were taken for the police, demonstrators may often be seen reacting to the camera, revealing some of the emotional and psychological tension present during this period of non-violent civil dissent.

Explore

Explore more than 250 images on Flickr with links to maps, videos and documents to see how events unfolded that summer.


View this map in a new window

Witness

Witness the persistence, courage and spirit of the protesters as they respond to other townspeople, the media and the police.

Protesters outside The College Shoppe, Farmville, Va., Saturday, July 27, 1963 Protester carrying closing of Schools sign Protester carrying practice what you preach sign

Participate

Participate by adding your recollections of these events to help future students and scholars.

How you can participate

VCU Libraries presents the Freedom Now Project in the hopes that a broad public audience will help us identify the people in these historic photographs and therefore preserve an accurate record of their contribution to the progress of civil rights in America. Comments, including remembrances of these events, are highly encouraged and appreciated.‌

Screenshot of flickr sets

The project is organized by location. Click on the set of images you wish to view, then click again on the first image to begin moving through them. You’ll see a description of what we know about each image and, sometimes, links to a present-day view of the site or other interesting facts. To experience the images in a different way, use the search box at the upper right corner of the Project's main page. Search within VCU Libraries' Photostream with a keyword or tag such as "photographer" "police" or "street view."

  • Flickr social icons guide To comment, click on the word balloon. The first time you comment, you will be directed to a sign-in page where you can create a free Yahoo username/account. Use this sign-in every time you comment.
  • To share a photograph through email or social media, click on the square with an arrow.
  • If you have questions or information that you prefer to share directly with VCU Libraries, please contact the project manager, Alice W. Campbell, at freedomnowproject.vculibraries@gmail.com or by calling (804) 828-7934.

Explore the Freedom Now Project now. We appreciate your interest and your help.  

VCU Libraries

James Branch Cabell Library Monroe Park Campus
901 Park Ave., Richmond, VA 23284-2033
Toll-free: (866) 828-2665
(804) 828-1111
All Libraries
Tompkins-McCaw Library MCV Campus
509 N. 12th St., Richmond, VA 23298-0582
Toll-free: (866) 828-2665
(804) 828-0636

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