20th International Conference on Teaching and Learning


Date: April 2009


Presentation title:


Volume 2: Little Rock-The Rest of the Story 50 Years Later


John T. Taylor and Marcelle Bessman, Florida State College at Jacksonville

Full Description:


When asked why he likes teaching and going to school everyday, John Taylor states:
“When you lose your health, you understand what you have taken for granted. When they take school from you, you realize the value of education: that education is a privilege and should not be taken for granted or wasted.
The weekend of August 31, 1957, John Taylor’s father was driving the presenter from Alexandria, Louisiana to his new home in Little Rock, Arkansas. He had never been to Little Rock.  He was registered to begin school on September 3rd as a junior at Little Rock Central High School. He knew no one and had left all his friends behind in Alexandria, Louisiana.  He knew not what this year would do to the rest of my life, especially the following year.   This year is one that is documented in the history books. He was there! He went through it!  Last Year, Volume 1 focused on the turmoil of 1957-58. The presenter tells his story from the memories of a 16 year old high school junior, who at 17 would become one of 3665 high school students in September 1958 to have no school to attend. He became a forced high school drop-out his senior year and has ever since been a member of the “Lost Class of 59”. To this day, despite three college degrees, John Taylor does not have a high school diploma. Volume 2 will focus on this lost year, 1958-59, which is not well documented in history books. This 'Rest of the Story' will be told through video clips from two obscure documentaries and his personal accounts.   (ID #231/Track 1)