March 8, 2017 Edition

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Recognition of historic
Hoxie integration slated

The historic significance of the 1955 integration of Hoxie Schools will be recognized at the Arkansas State Capitol in Little Rock on Monday.

State Rep. Fran Cavenaugh will present a resolution at 1:30 p.m. on the floor during the legislative session. All who are interested in being a part of the event are welcome.

Cavenaugh said she was honored to run the House Resolution recognizing the integration, which she presented on March 2 with assistance from Ethel Tompkins, the first African-American graduate of Hoxie School.

"She is living history and an inspiration to me daily," Cavenaugh said.

Prior to the presentation of the resolution, a news conference will be held at noon featuring special guest speakers including DeShun Scarbrough with the MLK Jr. Commission.

In addition, a display sharing information about Hoxie – The First Stand will be exhibited in the second floor rotunda from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Hoxie was the first full integration and first legally-challenged integration after the 1954 US Supreme Court decision on Brown v the Board of Education.

"Hoxie was not forced to integrate," Cavenaugh said. "They did it peacefully and without military intervention because as the school board said: first it was the law, second it would save the school money and third it was right in the eyes of God. Because of the courage of the superintendent, school board and the citizens of Hoxie, we now have integrated schools not only throughout Arkansas but the United States."

Dina Rose, past chair of the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce, said transportation is available for those wanting to make the trip from Lawrence County to Little Rock. Anyone needing transportation can contact Rose at 870-886-4055.

Monday's events are the results of a coordinated effort between Cavenaugh, the city of Hoxie, Hoxie Public Schools, the Lawrence County Historical Society and the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce.

Hoxie Mayor Lanny Tinker said he believes what occurred in Hoxie in 1955 is of historical significance in the local, state and national level.

"The history of Hoxie's integration needs to be preserved as part of the history of Hoxie School and the city of Hoxie," he said.

Cavenaugh encourages all who are able to attend Monday's activities and those who are unable to help share the story in other ways, including by following efforts on the Facebook page Hoxie Civil Rights Museum.

"Help us spread the story of Hoxie - The First Stand," she said. "Come out and learn more about Hoxie and why their story deserves to be told."

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