In this brief blog we will highlight two historical events that occurred on Sept. 4, 1957 and Sept 4, 1908. Both are related to America’s Racial History.
Sadly, in 2015 we are seeing the ugliness of racial hatred; we are seeing murders, brutal beatings and other vicious and discriminatory actions by vigilante citizens, thugs and the police. We are seeing political leaders, and those running for elected office who are using the language of racial hatred as stimulant. Some are appealing to the most depraved mentality, most ignorant and insecure segments of our society. Our legal system often and repeatedly lock up innocent black people (mostly men) for crimes they did not commit. Some of our leading politicians make statements and support actions that continue to inflame some of the unstable elements in our society.
Often missing from public discourse are the courageous and intelligent voices of media representatives who do not pander to the fringe elements, and who do not do whatever it takes to increase the ratings of their various media outlets. It’s a frightening time because too few are alarmed by what is happening on the racial front and particularly in American media in 2015. The noted exceptions are Public Broadcasting, The New York Times Editorial Board, and The Nation Magazine, in continuous publication since 1865. If you have never seen this publication, we encourage you to check it out at: Started by Abolitionists in 1865, The Nation Magazine Marks … www.democracynow.org/…/started_by_abolitionists_in.
1. On Sept. 4, 1957, Arkansas Gov. Orval Faubus called out the National Guard to prevent nine black students from entering Central High School in Little Rock.
Arkansas Troops Bar Negro Pupils; Governor Defiant
Faubus Wires Eisenhower He Will Not Cooperate With U.S. Agents in Little Rock- Decries ‘Interference’ – By BENJAMIN FINE
“Fully armed, the troops kept the Negroes from the school grounds while an angry crowd of 400 white men and women jeered, booed and shouted, “go home, niggers.” Several hundred militiamen, with guns slung over their shoulders, carrying gas masks and billy clubs, surrounded the school.
The nine Negro students said that they would again attempt to enter the all-white Central High School tomorrow morning.
The troops acted under direct orders of Gov. Orval E. Faubus. In a news conference in his office, Governor Faubus said he would not permit Negroes to enter white schools in this city, despite the order from the Federal District Court. He insisted that he was not flouting the court’s orders, but acting to preserve peace and to prevent bloodshed.” http://www.nytimes.com/learning/general/onthisday/big/0904.html#article
Little Rock High School, now Central High School National Historic Site, is a national emblem of the often violent struggle over school desegregation. Parting the Waters author Taylor Branch calls the Little Rock crisis “the most severe test of the Constitution since the Civil War.”
Three years after the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision, which officially ended public-school segregation, a federal court ordered Little Rock to comply. On September 4, 1957, Governor Orval Faubus defied the court, calling in the Arkansas National Guard to prevent nine African American students–“The Little Rock Nine”–from entering the building.
Can we imagine the courage it took for this student to walk into this building to the jeers and hateful screams of the white mob? This deserves a Pullitzer prize for bravery.
One of the “Little Rock Nine” braves a jeering crowd
Photograph by and courtesy of Will Counts
Little Rock School Desegregation (1957)
Martin Luther King and the Global Freedom Struggle (with emphasis on the struggle here, in America)
The governor did not allow the students to enter the school safely until Sept. 25, 1957; 21 days after they first arrived at the school per court order. In the link below we invite you to learn about Sept 1957 in America. What is going on in some of our suburban schools today 2015? What is happening in some of our communities? How are some children being treated even by teachers and school administrators? How are some of our financially strapped school districts being treated by the legislature?
Brave Hearts: Remembering the Little Rock Nine
Six decades after nine courageous teens integrated Little Rock Central High School, LIFE.com presents pictures — many of which never ran in LIFE magazine — from those ugly and, ultimately, inspiring days.
2) RICHARD NATHANIEL WRIGHT
The brilliant writer, Richard Nathaniel Wright was born on Sept. 4, 1908 in America.
On On Sept. 4, 1908, something wonderful happened in America; the gifted writer, Richard Nathaniel Wright, whose books “Native Son” and “Black Boy” exposed the harsh effects of American racism, was born. Following his death on Nov. 28, 1960, his obituary appeared in The Times. Read a more comprehensive report of Richard Wright’s life and his work at the article linked below. It appeared in the New York Times in Nov. 30, 1960. Richard Wright died in Paris at the age of 52. Among his many other works which did not receive the acclaim of “Native Son” and “Black Boy”, but many of which are outstanding and insightful works are: “The Outsider,” a philosophical novel; “Black Power,” his impressions of the Gold Coast of Africa; “The Color Curtain,” “Pagan Spain,” and “White Man, Listen!” a lecture on the evils of racial injustice. http://www.nytimes.com/learning/general/onthisday/bday/0904.html
You may learn much more about Richard Nathaniel Wright at: Richard Wright’s Life http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/poets/s_z/r_wright/wright_life.htm See more details of one of his outstanding works at: Black Boy – A Teacher’s Guide for Secondary and Post Secondary Educators – by Jerry M. Ward http://www.newsreel.org/guides/richardw.htm
See also Black Past, Richard Wright 1908 – 1960: http://www.blackpast.org/aah/wright-richard-1908-1960
Richard Wright Author, Journalist, Poet (1908–1960)
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