Barbara Rose Johns
Before the likes of Rosa Parks, the Little Rock Nine, and Martin Luther King, Barbara Rose Johns adopted non-aggressive protest as a means to bring about social change.
At the age of 16, Johns, a young American civil rights hero led a student strike for equal education at Moton High School (now a museum) in Farmville, Prince Edward County, Virginia in 1951.
According to the American History, while many in the town called for patience, the 16-year-old refused to wait. With a few other classmates, she quietly organized the entire student body.
On April 23, 1951, the principal was lured off campus, and all 450 students were called into the auditorium.
After the students asked the teachers to leave, Barbara convinced her classmates that they should walk out until a new building was under construction.
After securing NAACP legal support, her suit became part of the historic 1954 U.S. Supreme Court case, Brown v. Board of Education, in which the court ruled against “separate but equal” and thus ended segregation in American public schools.