23rd International Conference on Teaching and Learning

April 2012

 

Presentation title:

Volume 5: Little Rock-55 Years Later More Additional Stories
Professor John Taylor

 
Abstract: On September 25, 2012 “The Little Rock Nine (Eight)” will assemble again in Little Rock, Arkansas to celebrate 55 years after the historic day in civil rights history. FSCJ Professor, John Taylor, was there in 1957. Volumes 1 through 4 over the previous four conferences has told many stories of the historic year at Central in 1957-58. Volume 5 will focus on three more stories. The first is the Hollywood versions of the Chili incident which precipitated Minnijean Brown Trickey’s expulsion from Central High the next day, will be shown, but will be clarified by the presenter who witnessed the scene in 1957. Disney’s Ernest Green Story attempted to explain the treatment Ernest received from his physic teacher, but the story will be expanded to the reunion of three students who mentored Ernest though that class and saved him from failure. Last, the presenter risked expulsion from Central when he twice shot home movie footage from the band tower of Central. There are actually no public pictures or movie footage from inside Central that year. The footage shown will be the first time these short clips will be viewed in public and possibly are the only pictures/video that was not certified by school officials for the yearbook.

 


Full Description: When asked why he likes teaching and going to school everyday, Professor 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.”

 

Volume 1 focused on the 1957-1958 crisis school year. Volume 2 explained what happen the next year, 1958-1959, known as "The Lost Class of 59". Volume 3 examined several stories that changed the lives of several ‘kids’ at Central in 1957 including one of the Nine, Minnijean Brown Trickey. Last year Volume 4 looked at the latest two books which tells the story through the eyes of Carlotta Walls Lanier and Terrance Roberts, the two youngest of the Nine.

 

 Volume 5 will examine three more stories from 1957-58. The Hollywood versions of the Chili incident which precipitated Minnijean’s expulsion from Central High the next day, will be shown, but will be clarified by the presenter who actually witnessed the scene in 1957 and verified by Minnijean in 2007.

 

 Disney’s1990 “The Ernest Green Story” attempted to explain the treatment Ernest received from his physic teacher who failed him the first six weeks. The story will be expanded to the reunion of three white  students with earnest at the 50th anniversary who mentored Ernest though that class and saved him from failure by the end of the year. Earnest then became the first African American graduate from Central in 1958 and the first African American to graduate from an all-white high school in the 12 state South.

 

 The presenter, a shy science nerd, risked expulsion from Central when he twice shot footage with his home movie camera from the band tower of the Nine entering Central escorted by the 101st in October 1957 and then later in the winter of 1958 by the Arkansas National Guard after a snow storm.  The home movie footage shown will be the first time these short clips will be viewed in public and the original film and the DVD will be presented to the LRCHS National Museum at the 55th anniversary next September during national gala event in Little Rock. There are actually no known public pictures or movie footage from inside Central that year, except those monitored by the school officials for the yearbook and the student newspaper.

 

The presenter will also bring three boxes or artifacts from the year, including all the books and videos that have documented the events which occurred from 1957 through 1958. These artifacts will include the 1958 yearbook and copies of all the student newspapers for that year.

 

The presenter will close the presentation by either an audio or video connection with Minnijean who is currently working on a project for 15,000 kids in San Francisco for questions and answers.