54th Anniversary of Little Rock Nine Commemoration is Saturday

Kerry Kraus

Here is yet another event taking place in Central Arkansas on Saturday. Talk about a packed calendar. Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site and Visitor Center is where commemoration activities of the 54th anniversary of the desegregation of the school are being held. The events are also being held in honor of National Public Lands Day.

“Nine to the Power of Social Injustice Service Learning Day”
is for visitors and volunteers of all ages. Some of the activities available include: beautification projects for the school campus and surrounding neighborhood; collecting non-perishable foods, barely used books or recyclables; writing postcards to a soldier serving in Iraq or Afghanistan, or signing of a copy of the United States Constitution. Walking tours of the historic Central High School neighborhood, a park ranger-led bicycle tour of Civil Rights sites, and ‘50s era games on the LRCHS lawn are also scheduled. A concert featuring soul and blues singer Amanda Avery from Hot Springs and hip hop artists Griff & Q Note, alumni of Philander Smith College, who have just release their first album, “Soul South Age.”

Keynote speaker Elizabeth Eckford, one of the Little Rock Nine, takes the podium at 1 p.m. A showing of documentaries by Samuel Hoskins (Central High) and Fabian Ruiz (Harding University), both members of the Central High School National Historic Site Youth Leadership Academy members, is at 1:30 p.m. The grand finale will be a free showing of Michael Jackson’s “This Is It.” The screenings take place in the Little Rock Central High School auditorium.

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