Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Nicholas Juravich

Second Advisor

Tim Hasci

Third Advisor

Kibibi Mack-Shelton


This thesis is an oral history related to Prince Edward County’s infamous school closures from 1959-1964. It tracks the popular memory of the closures through the narrative of two natives of Farmville, Virginia: a mother and son. This thesis investigates the role of physical monuments in the development of historical consciousness related to the school closures, as well as the intergenerational effects of the closures on the son. This thesis marks that there were radial effects from the school closures that manifested within the subsequent generation, and that for this particular case study, awareness of the closures and their effects came to the son despite societal silence about the community’s trauma. There is a pressing need for a study of a larger scope to investigate the intergenerational effects of the school closures and how it manifests in subsequent generations.