Curators at Work: Paving the Way: Desegregating Transportation in Virginia

Time Period
1825 to 1860
Media Type
Black History
Civil Rights
Politics & Government
Brittany Hutchinson and Paige Newman

Transportation was not merely a way to move about the state or country. The ability to travel across the United States became highly restricted as early as the Scott v. Stanford (1857) case, which denied Dred Scott’s claim to freedom and citizenship after relocating from a free to a slave state. Nearly a century later, the Montgomery Bus Boycott helped spark what we now know as the classic phase of the civil rights movement, and bussing became paramount in the battle against massive resistance to school desegregation. In many ways, Virginia sits at the crossroads of these three distinct struggles, and Black Virginians helped to change the course of the country toward a more equal and accessible way of life. This talk that occurred on July 8th, 2022, recalled the lives and experiences of John Mitchell, Jr., Irene Morgan, Pauli Murray, and Bruce Boynton as they challenged transportation segregation in Virginia while simultaneously dismantling anti-Blackness in America’s social landscape.

Want to listen to an audio-only version of this lecture? Listen now on Soundcloud.