Barbara Johns Portrait Unveiled at Virginia Capitol

by Anita Kumar,  the Washington Post

A portrait of a civil rights pioneer Barbara Johns was unveiled at a crowded ceremony at the state Capitol Friday afternoon.
Johns, then 16, led a 1951 student strike in Prince Edward County that led to the inclusion of Virginia in the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision outlawing school segregation.

The portrait depicts Johns on April 23, 1951, the day of the student strike. It was painted by Richmond native Louis Briel.
"It is my pleasure to unveil this portrait of a young woman who simply and gracefully formulated a dream of equality from her personal experience with inequality," Gov. Bob McDonnell said. "It will inspire a new generation of students."

The portrait will hang in the Capitol until the spring when it will be moved to the Robert Russa Moton Museum in Farmville, which tells the story of the civil rights movement in Prince Edward County.