“She wasn’t with the rest of the other Black students. Can you imagine having all those harassers, reporters, and guards blocking her from letting her get into school?”
As I was listening to the ranger tell us the story of Elizabeth Eckford’s first day of school at Central High School in Little Rock, I found myself zoning out.
In a few hours, I’d be telling an audience of mostly white educators, business leaders, and students that they need to incorporate a sense of activism in their approach to loving and showing compassion for our kids. I had been nervous about this event because of the breakneck schedule I’d undertaken to get there.
Flight delays. Cancellations. Maintenance issues. Broken laptops. Snapped watches. Erased notes, remarks, and slides. Too many “first world” problems in a 48-hour window.
Our first morning in Little Rock, AR started with a casual breakfast and a visit to the Clinton Presidential Library, courtesy of Noble Impact and the Clinton School of Public Service. My poker face didn’t give much away in terms of my aforementioned issues or the critical thoughts triggered by different renditions of the 42nd president’s legacy in this country. Instead, I let the experience justBetween Little Rock and This Hard Place | The Jose Vilson: