I had the privilege of attending two of several events last week, held to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the desegregation of Little Rock Central High School. The courageous story of the “Little Rock Nine” as they are known, is one I learned early in my youth as a resident of Little Rock, Arkansas. The high school I attended was opened the same year as the Central crisis, one where the affluent white citizens of Little Rock could send their children in attempt to avoid inevitable progress. By the time I attended in the early 1990’s, all public schools had long been integrated, the legacy of those nine brave students paving the way for my generation and ones to come. This is part one of a two part post.
I recently had the privilege of being interviewed for the Extreme Genes podcast to discuss one of my previous posts, Southern Heritage- It’s Complicated, where I deliberate the complexities of having slave owning ancestors. The episode aired this week, but both the post and interview occurred before the horrible events in Charlottesville, Virginia.
“Thousands of Southerners moved west for opportunity…..” Over the past years, Roots and Recall has received numerous queries dealing with families having moved from the Carolinas. It seems destinations in Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas have drawn the most attention.
Being a wife, mother of two littles, and working full time, leaves me little time for extra activities. In the space between family and work responsibilities I have managed to carve out time for my genealogical activities, though it has taken some new and interesting paths I hadn’t expected! Here’s an update on what’s been going on in my world of late.
I love the South. I was born in the South. Raised in the South. From my early days in Louisiana, to my formative years in Arkansas, the people, food, and history are deeply ingrained into my consciousness. Indeed, ingrained into my soul.
Yesterday, I had the privilege of marching with an estimated 12,000 women and men at the Oklahoma State Capitol in Oklahoma City. As a volunteer working the event, I spoke to over 100 men and women who came to show solidarity for not only women’s rights, but the overarching goal of social justice and civil rights. I spoke with Native American women, Hispanic, Asian, Caucasian, African Americans. I spoke with those from the disability, LGBT, Muslim American communities and Christians, all who felt called to speak out for those marginalized in our society. I spoke with grandmothers, mothers and daughters. And, I spoke with many husbands and fathers who were there to support the women in their lives.
“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language. And next year’s words await another voice.” -T.S. Elliot
That’s incredibly poetic and ideal.
Let’s get real.
The events of this week have left me bereft. The tumultuous events unfolding since election night mirror the upheaval in my heart and mind.