Jonesboro Rotary Club remembers "Hoxie 21" - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Jonesboro Rotary Club remembers "Hoxie 21"

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JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – The Hoxie 21 was remembered at the Jonesboro Rotary Club meeting at the St. Bernard's Auditorium.

The Rotary Club received a history lesson on the desegregation of Hoxie Public Schools.  On July 11, 1955, 25 African –American students integrated the school. 21 students attended the first day of classes after four dropped out.

Jim Barkdale's mother was one of Hoxie 21. He said, "It's important to remember the past, so you don't repeat the mistakes of the past. I think it's very important, especially for young African Americans to see where things used to be, so that we don't go back to that. Education is very important, and it's the key to improvement to our society."

"The significance of this historical event is very important in history because it was the first challenge, desegregation, in the country really," said Barkdale. "The Supreme Court decision came in 1954. There were two other schools that integrated, but Hoxie was the first to integrate 1st through 12th grade."

A memorial for the Hoxie 21 is under construction and will be located in the new gym at Hoxie High School.

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