The Middlesex County Museum and Historical Society, Inc. will host the 2018 Strong Men and Women in Virginia History traveling exhibition from December 27, 2018 through January 10, 2019.
Strong Men and Women in Virginia History, an annual initiative of the Library of Virginia and Dominion Energy, recognizes Virginia African Americans, past and present, who have made noteworthy contributions to the Commonwealth.
The 2018 class of seven honorees includes Middlesex native, civil rights activist, educator, and theologian Calvin Coolidge Green (1931-2011). Dr. Green was the plaintiff in Green v. New Kent County, Virginia, the landmark 1968 United States Supreme Court case that forced the full integration of public schools.
The other 2018 Strong Men and Women honorees are Dana Olden Baldwin, Physician and Entrepreneur, Martinsville; Warren Wesley Buck III, Physicist and Educator, Hampton; Mavis Claytor-Ford, Nurse and Administrator, Salem; Edwin Bancroft Henderson, Basketball Pioneer and Civil Rights Activist, Falls Church; Angela Edwards Roberts; Judge and Youth Advocate, Richmond; and Marguerite Bailey Young, Educator and Healthcare Advocate, Fredericksburg.
In celebration of the opening of the exhibition and of Kwanzaa, an open house will be held on Sunday, December 30, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Museum, located at 777 General Puller Highway, Saluda.
Persons stopping through will have the opportunity to view the exhibition, speak with members of the Green family, and enjoy light refreshments.
A screening of the film trailer, “The Green Light: Fulfilling the Promise of Brown v. Board of Education ” will take place on Sunday, January 6, 2019, at 3 p.m. at the Historic Courthouse, located at 877 General Puller Highway, Saluda.
Following the screening, Dr. Brian Daugherity, a Virginia Commonwealth University professor who is one of the film’s producers, will moderate a roundtable discussion.
Discussion participants who will share their personal experiences with school integration include Anthony Green, one of Dr. Green’s sons; Schreinaer Hodges, a black parent whose children initially integrated Middlesex schools; Portia Lewis Johnson, one of the first black students to attend Middlesex High School; Garland Harrow, a white student at Middlesex High School at the time; Hallie Jean Holmes, a member of the first fully integrated Middlesex High School graduating class; and Rosetta Dobbins Jarvis, one of the “West Point 29″ whose father was the plaintiff in the desegregation case Dobbins v. Virginia. Following the discussion, attendees will have the opportunity to view the exhibition at the Museum. Light refreshments will be served.
Middlesex NAACP Unit 7091 and Middle Peninsula African-American Genealogical and Historical Society are co-sponsors of these programs. Three churches associated with the Green family will be special guests for the programs. They are Shiloh Baptist Church, Jamaica, Dr. Green’s home church; Antioch Baptist Church, Saluda, home church of Dr. Green’s wife, Mary Osborne Green; and Calvary Baptist Church, Saluda, a church that Dr. Green pastored.
These programs are free and open to the public. For further information about the exhibition and programs, call Bessida Cauthorne White at 804-651-8753 or visit middlesexmuseum.com.