January 6, 2016 Edition

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Hoxie to be honored
at King Fest, Jan. 18

The Arkansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission's prestigious Humanitarian Award will recognize the city of Hoxie and Hoxie School for their contributions to the American Civil Rights movement through the 1955 integration of Hoxie School.

Hoxie School voluntarily integrated in 1955 and was the first challenged integration. School board members stood up to segregationists and paved the way for other integration efforts.

"I believe it was of great historical significance," Hoxie Mayor Lanny Tinker said of the school's integration. "There was such a tremendous amount of courage by the school board members to do what was right."

The Humanitarian Award will be presented during a ceremony at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 18, at UALR's Jack Stephens Center, located at 2801 South University Avenue in Little Rock, as part of the annual Mega King Fest.

The commission will reserve seating at the ceremony for those attending as representatives of Hoxie. Those planning to attend are asked to contact Dina Rose at 870-886-4055 or Kathy Bradley at 870-886-3232 by Jan. 13.

The AMLKJ Commission will have a day full of events, including a prayer breakfast, the celebratory ceremony and a day of service to feed the at-risk and complete other service activities, such as health screenings, job counseling and hygiene kits.

The proposed Hoxie Civil Rights Museum will also be featured at a booth during the Vendor Showcase, which will be held from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The Mega King Fest is free to attend.

Lawrence County Chamber Executive Director Fran Cavenaugh said the recognition is a great honor for Hoxie.

"This is a major step for us in helping Hoxie to get the recognition it deserves," she said. "With this honor we can move forward working to build the Hoxie Civil Rights Museum. I am proud to be a part of this great effort."

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