Sunday, April 4, 2010

Little Rock Arkansas

Little Rock

Guteriano Neves

From New Orleans, we headed to Little Rock. The first place we visited was National Historic Site of Little Rock Central High School. In this place, we learned about the history of nine students who were integrated into this school, and their experience. These nine students are Ernest Green, Elizabeth Eckrod, Jefferson Thomas, Terrance Roberts, Carlotta Walls LaNier, Minnijean Brown, Gloria ray Karlmark, Thelma Mothershed and Melba Beals.

School in the United States had been one of the segregated place in the America for long time. By 1954, through Brown vs. Board of Education, US supreme Court ruled that school segregation was unconstitutional. This decision opened up a new chapter in the civil rights movement in the United States. However, not all of the school were integrated. White people and the all of the established institutions at that time resisted this, and continued to segregate education.

Then in 1957, nine students were integrated into school. This integration effort triggered a lot of angry from white people who rejected to surrender their privilege. It then drove the city to the crisis, and forced federal government to send military to intervene. While this intervention helped to secure these nine students from mobs’ attack, inside the school they experienced physical and psychological intimidation. Despite this treatment, they succeeded to break the strong walls that had been persisting for many years. Finally they graduated from this school, and opened up new chapter in the civil rights movement in the United States. From the historic site, we went to school, and auditorium. Back to the museum, we were able to see some documents of these students’ experiences, and their commitment.

After that, we had a rare opportunity to meet with students in the Clinton School of Public Service. In this opportunity, had opportunity listen and to learn from these students about their experiences, their background, their vision, and their commitment to change the world. These students come from the different background; Haiti, Egypt, Arkansas, Wisconsin, Mexico, etc. Beside their differences, all of them have the same vision to change the world. Listening to these students, I am amazed by what they were telling. All of them have a mission to change the world by going to other countries like Rwanda, Palestine, Zaire, Congo, to make differences. Their experiences are very inspiring for all of us.

The experiences of the nine students teach me about the dedication, courage and commitment to change the world. These nine students were like other kids, who made differences to change world by their courage. Their courage, finally broke the strong walls that segregated Americans based on race. Moreover, going to this historical site also inspired us in a lot of ways. Listening to the experiences of students from Clinton School of Public Services inspired me on how these students, in their age, are thinking about changing the world. At the end, each of us can make difference based on what we can, since we have courage, dedication, commitment, vision, and persistence.

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