Preparing for 60th anniversary of Central High crisis: Questions | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Preparing for 60th anniversary of Central High crisis: Questions

Posted By on Tue, Jul 25, 2017 at 1:37 PM

click to enlarge HOME PAGE: Of website created for 60th anniversary of school crisis.
  • HOME PAGE: Of website created for 60th anniversary of school crisis.
The city of Little Rock, the school district and the National Park Service will announce tomorrow plans for the 60th anniversary of the Central High desegregation crisis in September.

The planning includes a "branding" campaign and a website. Events are already underway. The website has an extensive list of events to come, from music to marches to lectures to exhibits.

Press from around the country and world undoubtedly will check in, though perhaps not as many as at the 50th, or even the 40th when President Bill Clinton and Gov. Mike Huckabee held wide the doors at Central for the Little Rock Nine (eight still living) and the museum that is now a part of the National Historic Site was dedicated..

"Reflections on Progress" is the theme of the website. In that spirit, some facts sure to inspire questions come the time:

* Federal law now finds disfavor with devising means to achieve racial balance in schools.

* The school district where federal troops were required to put a handful of black students in a single high school, is now overwhelmingly black.

* The Little Rock City Board essentially segregated the city years ago with a decision to allow westward expansion to occur outside the Little Rock School District.

* The school district no longer has an elected school board, its majority-black board abolished by the state of Arkansas.

* The state Board of Education has helped further segregate the school district with proliferating charter schools.

* A white member of the Board of Education angrily told a patron asking for return of local control that he was sick of hearing about the Little Rock School District.

* The current City Board includes white members who favored the school district takeover and who voted against a resolution urging a return of local control.

* The neighboring Pulaski County School District just fired a superintendent and lawyer for mentioning the possibility of a boundary change that would combine majority white western Little Rock with the Little Rock School District.

* Suburban cities have outstripped Little Rock in growth thanks to people fleeing Little Rock and what are perceived as substandard schools.

* A majority of Little Rock police officers, particularly white officers, don't live in Little Rock, in part because they find the schools unsuitable.

* The City Board is elected only partially from wards, so that the white business community can control the balance of power through three at-large seats.

* Central High itself remains a beacon of academic achievements, but its critics insist white students are favored in advanced placement classes while black students are steered elsewhere.

Quarrel with these questions, by all means. As a father of two Central High grads, I have some experience on which to base my resistance to the criticism mentioned in the last point.

The 60th is no time for celebration or cheerleading. It's a time for sober reflection about what those days wrought.

Tags: , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store


Comments (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Two more get prison for feeding program fraud

    Two more people got prison sentences today for defrauding the state-run program that uses federal money to provide meals to poor children.
    • Aug 18, 2017
  • Friday's open line

    Here's today's video. And it is the open line.
    • Aug 18, 2017
  • Steve Bannon leaving White House

    The odious Steve Bannon, right-wing nationalist, is departing his White House job as strategist for Donald Trump.  Alas, Trump is still there.
    • Aug 18, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Jason Rapert vs. Wikipedia

    Sen. Jason Rapert against the world: Wikipedia edition.
    • Jan 23, 2016
  • Auditor Lea caught not telling the truth

    State Auditor Andrea Lea, who began her tenure in statewide office with a degree of competence unseen in some other Republican counterparts (think Treasurer Dennis Milligan particularly), is becoming more deeply mired in a political scandal.
    • Mar 4, 2016
  • Another Republican miracle-working governor

    Great piece in Washington Post on the budget crisis in Louisiana. Big tax cuts and corporate welfare will do that to a state, particularly to a state whose previous governor, Republican Bobby Jindal, refused to join the Obamacare-funded Medicaid expansion. There's a lesson there for Arkansas.
    • Mar 4, 2016

Most Shared

  • Take yourself there: Mavis Staples coming to LR for Central High performance

    Gospel and R&B singer and civil rights activist Mavis Staples, who has been inspiring fans with gospel-inflected freedom songs like "I'll Take You There" and "March Up Freedom's Highway" and the poignant "Oh What a Feeling" will come to Little Rock for the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the desegregation of Central High.
  • Klan's president

    Everything that Donald Trump does — make that everything that he says — is calculated to thrill his lustiest disciples. But he is discovering that what was brilliant for a politician is a miscalculation for a president, because it deepens the chasm between him and most Americans.
  • On Charlottesville

    Watching the Charlottesville spectacle from halfway across the country, I confess that my first instinct was to raillery. Vanilla ISIS, somebody called this mob of would-be Nazis. A parade of love-deprived nerds marching bravely out of their parents' basements carrying tiki torches from Home Depot.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Friday's open line

    • Cato, you could see where Glibbus was going immediately in prelude to his "dramatic" one-liner…

    • on August 18, 2017
  • Re: Friday's open line

    • Keith Olbermann highlights a column written by Art Buchwald in 1973 of what Republicans should…

    • on August 18, 2017
  • Re: Friday's open line

    • "One side invaded Poland" Poland did get screwed twice & the fact that it was…

    • on August 18, 2017



© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation