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John A. Stokes  

On April 23, 1951, Stokes helped to organize, strategize, plan and lead a student strike for better conditions at Robert Russa Moton High School in Farmville, Virginia.

On April 23, 1951, Stokes helped to organize, strategize, plan and lead a student strike for better conditions at Robert Russa Moton High School in Farmville, Virginia, a strike that made Stokes a plaintiff in the landmark civil rights case Brown v. Board of Education and helped change life in the US forever.

While serving as an educator in Baltimore, Stokes received many awards from the mayor, governor and others due to his ability to bring the inner city students' achievement levels far above the norm. Many of these students ended up becoming doctors, lawyers, teachers, and productive citizens.

Stokes also served as an elementary and junior high school teacher, an administrative intern under the auspices of The Rockefeller Foundation, a master teacher, assistant principal, and principal, before retiring in 1994. Since retiring, Stokes has served as an adjunct professor at different colleges and universities. He served as an ad hoc member of a steering committee at the Virginia General Assembly in Richmond, Virginia.

Stokes has received a multiplicity of awards and recognitions due to his stance for the rights of all people, including The Dr. Charles Hamilton Houston Award, The A. Leon Higginbotham Award, a United States Department of Justice Award, a Congressional Senatorial Award, an N.A.A.C.P. Award, an N.E.A. Award, and an award from The Community Teachers' Institute. As if that's not enough, the greatest recognition to date would have to be Stokes' likeness in a figure that is now displayed among others in a civil rights monument on the Capitol grounds (at The Capitol Square Civil Rights Memorial) in Richmond, VA. This unique statue was unveiled in July 2008.

Stokes is also the author of the memoir Students on Strike: Jim Crow, Civil Rights, Brown and Me, a NCSS Notable Trade Book, in which he recounts his experiences growing up in the oppressive conditions of the Jim Crow South. The American Library Association Social Studies Roundtable Task Force selected Stokes as the "torch bearer for MLK and the civil rights movement" at their annual convention in 2008.

As a result of this great book, Stokes has been featured in many newspapers and magazines, including The College Board Review, The Washington Post, The Informant, The Farmville Herald, The Daily Herald, Suburban Life, The Gazette, The Chicago Tribune, as well as MBC News and the Glen Ellyn News. Stokes has recently been a guest on CNN.COM and C-Span 2. He has been featured on many radio and television stations in regards to his mission and journey, including the Great Plains television network and The Tavis Smiley Show.

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Students on Strike: Jim Crow, Civil Rights, Brown, and Me

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