L. Francis Griffin at Five Forks Center
Credit: Johnson Publishing Company Archive. Courtesy J. Paul Getty Trust and Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Made possible by the Ford Foundation, J. Paul Getty Trust, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and Smithsonian Institution.
Original Author: Francis Mitchell
Created: May 18, 1961
Medium: Printed photographs

L. Francis Griffin at Five Forks Center

This picture, taken for a 1961 interview with Jet magazine, shows Reverend L. Francis Griffin in front of Five Forks Center, a makeshift school for Black children from Prince Edward County. Following Brown v. Board of Education, Prince Edward County officials voted to close their public schools rather than integrate them. All public schools in Prince Edward Country remained closed from 1959 to 1964. The Five Forks Center is an example of one of the educational alternatives made available to Black children through organizing and fundraising. While working to educate the children of their county, Griffin and other activists did all they could to publicize their unfair and infuriating situation.