Bookstore » Books by Title » About the Book

About the Book:

Preview book
Road to Healing: A Civil Rights Reparations Story in Prince Edward County, Virginia

View Cover

The Road to Healing: A Civil Rights Reparations Story in Prince Edward County, Virginia

(Afterword by)
(Foreword by)
Format: Trade Cloth, 224 pages
Pub Date: 04/01/2019
Price: $27.95
ISBN: 978-1-58838-354-9
Bookmark and Share 

Prince Edward County, Virginia closed its public school system in 1959 in "massive resistance" to the U.S. Supreme Court's Brown v. Board decision of 1954. The editorial pages of the family-owned Farmville Herald led the fight to lock classrooms rather than integrate them. The school system remained closed until the fall of 1964, when the County was forced by the courts to comply with the school integration ordered by Brown. The vast majority of white children had continued their education in a private, whites-only academy. But more than 2,000 black students were left without a formal education by the five-year closure. Their lives were forever changed.

The Road to Healing, by Ken Woodley, is his first-person account of the attempt to bring healing to that wound--as editor of The Farmville Herald, then owned by the same family. The book's centerpiece is the 18-month fight to create what Julian Bond told the author would become the first Civil Rights-era reparation in U.S. history. If the 2003-04 struggle to win passage of a state-funded scholarship program for the casualties of Massive Resistance had been a roller coaster, it wouldn't have passed the safety inspection--too many unsafe political twists and turns.

The narrative unfolds in Virginia but it is a deeply American story. Prince Edward County's ongoing journey of racial reconciliation blazes a hopeful and redemptive trail through difficult human terrain, but the signs are clear enough for a divided nation to follow.

Search the full text of The Road to Healing: