Jonesboro Rotary Club remembers "Hoxie 21"

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

The Rotary Club received a history lesson on the desegregationof Hoxie Public Schools.  On July 11,1955, 25 African –American students integrated the school. 21 students attendedthe 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 themistakes of the past. I think it's very important, especially for young AfricanAmericans 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 isvery important in history because it was the first challenge, desegregation, inthe country really," said Barkdale. "The Supreme Court decision came in 1954. Therewere two other schools that integrated, but Hoxie was the first to integrate1st through 12th grade."

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

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