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  • Writer's picturePress Release

The End of Massive Resistance Public Art Dedication

Words and Images Courtesy of the City of Norfolk

Commemorative artwork 14 years in the making

NORFOLK, VA –In September 1958, six all-white middle and high schools in Norfolk were ordered to close rather than integrate in a movement that became known as “Massive Resistance.” The schools remained closed until Feb. 2, 1959, when 17 Black students joined thousands of white students, officially desegregating Norfolk’s schools, ending Massive Resistance. Those students, known as the “Norfolk 17,” suffered many hardships for the cause while many others never got to complete their education and became known as the “Lost Class of 1959.”

Join Mayor Kenneth Alexander, artists, City dignitaries, members of The Norfolk 17 and The Lost Class of 1959 for a special celebration and dedication of "End of Massive Resistance" public art on Thursday, April 27 at 10:00 a.m. at Flatiron Park (114 W. Charlotte St., Norfolk, VA 23510).

"End of Massive Resistance," an 8 feet by 57 foot wall created by Shane Albritton and Norman Lee of RE:site. The sculpture is composed of brick and glass in graded transformation that explores the concept of breaking down the barrier of segregated public education. A historic photographic timeline of events and text includes "Seventeen Ways," by local poet Tim Seibles. Sunlight penetrating the glass will symbolize the triumph of social justice and opaque bricks gesture toward the ongoing work of creating equitable schools.

RE:site specializes in creating public art, memorials and commemorative spaces that connect the past with the present by inspiring shared experiential moments, collaborative viewership, curiosity, discovery and dialog. The artists are passionate about helping communities honor difficult histories and recovering the voices of those who struggled for justice, freedom and human dignity.

Mark your calendar and learn more about this public art by visiting

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