October 26, 2011 EditionAlso in this issue...
Events draw attention to Hoxie 21
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 É"
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."