October 26, 2011 Edition

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Carl (from left) and Freddie White and Queenie Dickson look over displays showing African-Americans in school, sports and social activities from 1940 - 1960. The displays were on exhibit at a luncheon and program held Oct. 16 at the Lawrence County Meeting Room in Walnut Ridge. The Hill Foundation, Hoxie 21 and First Baptist Church on East Hazel Street, sponsored the even

Events draw attention to Hoxie 21



Former classmates Yvonne Barksdale Taylor (left) and Frances Green visit at a dinner and program to promote awareness of the successful integration of the Hoxie School in 1955.


Jim Barksdale (left) of Jonesboro, president of the Hill Foundation Board, and Sherry Moore, retired teacher and Hoxie City Council member, look over historic articles relating to the Hoxie School integration. Barksdale is a 1979 graduate of Hoxie High School.

Two recent events have been held to raise awareness of the successful desegregation of the Hoxie School in 1955. The event was the topic of a Chamber of Commerce quarterly meeting held Oct. 13 at the Hoxie Service Center and again at a luncheon and program on Oct. 16 at the Lawrence County Meeting Room in Walnut Ridge.

"The Hoxie School desegregation story is everyone's story, not just the Hoxie 21. It took everyone," said Ethel Tompkins, the first Hoxie 21 African-American to graduate from Hoxie High School.

The Hill Foundation, Inc., which is dedicated to preserving the story of the Hoxie 21, is raising funds for a monument to be placed on the state Capitol grounds in Little Rock. They would also like to erect a monument in Hoxie to acknowledge the historic and successful event.

"In order to get the story out, we needed to be an organization," Tompkins said. "We were incorporated as the Hill Foundation, with the purpose to promote the Hoxie integration story."

"Hoxie had our own Rosa Parks - Rosemary Hill. The Hill family was our rock - the go to people," Tompkins said. Fayth Hill Washington, a leader and founder of the Hill Foundation, is the daughter of Rosemary Hill.

Washington was the main speaker at the Chamber meeting. She shared her personal story and told of the Foundation's goals.

"It is our mission to recognize their courage and honor them," Washington said of all those involved in the successful desegregation.

"We also want to put a replica of some kind here in Hoxie "

Emma Agnew of African American Perspectives based in Jonesboro, was a guest at the Oct. 16 event. "What amazed me about the Hoxie School desegregation is that it was done so seamlessly. The community of Hoxie is to be commended on the peaceful integration. The school and community deserve this monument."

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