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Sara Hawkins Riley 
Member since Feb 1, 2012


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Re: “Integration was the answer for downtown Little Rock in 1963

John would love to be there on the 21st. Tomorrow, the 19th is my 55th birthday.I was 5 in 1963...but I remember the early days in Downtown Little Rock and my parents role in desegregation. They would have African exchange students from UALR over for Holiday Dinners when I was 4 & 5 years old. We just always thought that was NORMAL. Now, looking back, my parents and all their friends were forging new territory. ...thanks.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Sara Hawkins Riley on 09/18/2013 at 9:54 PM

Re: “The history of the sit-in movement in Little Rock

Thank you so much for writing this article. Col. Willard A. Hawkins USAF, at this time Director of the then Downtown Little Rock Limited, was my father. He was a wonderful man. He and others in our church (Westover Hills Presbyterian) such as Dan Mathes, and our childhood pastor, Dick Hardie, also deceased, along with many businessmen in the Jewish community worked hard to see that human dignity and equal opportunity were available to all human beings regardless of race. Both my parents were avid civil rights activists. We cut our teeth on Civil Rights and reading the Arkansas Democrat! and being able to talk about it over Chicken Pot Pies at supper was REQUIRED, LOL!

Sometimes I feel sad knowing that my generation may be the last to remember my parents. I was touched that a friend of mine sent me your article, as I am no longer a resident of LR, but remain an avid fan of the AR. Times. My sister, Sebia Hawkins Dunbar also lives out of state, so I sent it to her. We are all that is left of our nuclear family.

I also sent it to a Nuerosurgeon in Jonesboro, AR. Dr. Robert Abraham. When I was about 11 years old (1968-69) my folks had a young black cadet over for dinner. His name was Robert Abraham. Daddy helped him get into the Air Force Academy in Colo. Springs, CO. I think he was probably the first young black man to get into the AFA, so it was a big deal. I just remember how handsome he was, and how polite. I never saw him again, but over the years I wondered what ever happened to him. After watching The Help recently, I was thinking back over my experiences as a young person, and I googled Robert on the AF Academy's website, via their alumni. One of Robert's classmates helped me locate him and we have since caught up on our lives. After the AFA Robert went to Medical School at UAMS and became a Brain Surgeon. I was so happy to know he'd had a good life and is still well. My sister and I were so happy to know that.

I had a wonderful father, who had a gift for making people feel loved, appreciated, and empowered. Thank you for remembering him.

Sara Hawkins-Riley
BSRT (R) RDMS
1976 graduate of LRCH
1997 graduate of UAMS College of Health Related Professions, X-Ray and Ultrasound
now living in Chickasha, OK.

6 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Sara Hawkins Riley on 02/01/2012 at 9:54 PM

 

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