We worked on school and work in the morning so that we could take a field trip this afternoon to the Central High School Museum. Little Rock is the first city and Central High School the first high school to integrate their students. The Little Rock Nine were the 9 black students, ages 14-16, who chose to make the switch from their all black high school to make a difference and to receive an education that would better prepare them for college.
The museum was free to attend and was really well done. The most impactful thing for me was listening to the personal stories from several of the students via recorded testimonies at several kiosks with telephone handsets. Spencer and I sat together and listened to all the available audio recordings and it probably took 30-40 minutes. There were present day interviews interspersed with the students narrating while showing video footage from 1957. It is definitely different to see and hear the actual people and real video versus just reading about the events in a textbook. I'm not sure how much of it really sunk in with the kids, but I think we all seemed to get a sense of those students courage and tenacity and commitment. It is hard to grasp how difficult it was for those students and their families (and anyone who tried to support them) and it is challenging to imagine the perspective of the anti-integration people. It was very sobering.
|The gas station where a mob gathered across the street from the high school.|
We started to have some pretty big thunderstorms in the evening. We've been under a flash flood warning pretty much the whole time we've been here, but the "creek" (shallow drainage ditch) behind our trailer had mostly dried up again. We decided to just see what tomorrow looks like.