May 19, 2004 -- Posted at 4:02 CDT
HOXIE, AR- Hoxie is just another rual Arkansas railroad town. It's hardly the kind of place you'd think of as a landmark in the civil rights movement. Ethel Thompkins, now the reference librarian at the Lawrence County Library in Walnut Ridge, was in 4th grade in July of 1955, that was the summer Hoxie schools integrated black and white. "At that age I did not think in historical value or this was a momentous occasion of that type of thing. To me it was like, ok, I got to get to another school, do I have to get up earlier, that type of thing. The usual kid type of thing."
Howard Vance was on the Hoxie school board in 1955. "We were sending about 5 them to High School here in jonesboro. The others we had in a one room school down there in a mudhole. It just wasn't right."