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The AFSC and School Desegregation

Prince Edward County, Virginia, 1959-1964 The involvement of the Religious Society of Friends in Prince Edward County dates back to the Civil War. Shortly after General Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox in 1865, the African American community in Farm-ville, the Prince Edward County seat, asked the Bureau of Refugees, Freedman, and Abandoned Lands to supply them with a teacher. In response, the Pennsylvania Freedman Relief Association, a largely Quaker group based in Philadelphia, appointed Frederick Brooks to the post. The school grew quickly after opening to have some 300 students. This was part of a broader response by

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Betsy Brinson is a member of Richmond (Va.) Meeting and the meeting’s historian. As a public historian, she has conducted oral history interviews for the Virginia Civil Rights Video Initiative and Richmond Holocaust Museum. A former faculty member at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, she has been involved in the production of several film documentaries, for example serving as executive producer of Living the Story: The Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky (58 minutes, 2002), developed from 175 oral history interviews.


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