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    Posted March 12, 2014 by
    Edmond, Oklahoma
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Student voices in journalism

    History Speaks: Little Rock Nine

    The Little Rock Nine consisted of nine African-American teenagers who withstood hostility as they desegregated Central High School in Little Rock, Ark., on Sept. 25, 1957. Carlotta Walls LaNier and Terrence Roberts will speak at Oklahoma Christian University for “History Speaks: Little Rock Nine” on Feb. 24. Some outside of the school have been wondering why OC would choose to host these guests as opposed to many of the other Civil Rights activists.

    Oklahoma Christian University’s Gary Jones organized this event with the Black Student Union. Gary Jones had a few things to share in regard to why he chose the Little Rock Nine, and what kind of impact this can have on OC’s campus.

    “I think it’s huge for the OC community,” said Jones. “Just because you weren’t personally a racist or personally involved in segregation doesn’t mean that you haven’t benefited from it. Our students need to understand what education looked like years ago. There was a reality that your pigmentation of your skin determined where you went to school. It’s not in your elementary or high school textbooks anymore; we don’t offer very many courses on these subjects. I think it may be more important for our community.”

    OC student Abby deSteiguer shared her opinion of how this event shines a light on the school. She also shared her excitement for attending the event.

    “It’s [History Speaks: Little Rock Nine] showcasing that OC is aware of important events in history and wants to remember them and learn from them at the same time,” said deSteiguer. “I think it’s really a cool thing that OC’s having these people come and speak because they are so well-known, and it was such a big deal during that time. So it shows how OC is aware of history and aware of different events that have happened.”

    Jessica Thompson, an African-American student at OC, discussed her reason for attending the “History Speaks: Little Rock Nine” event. Thompson also discusses the impact, she believes, this event will have on OC’s students.

    “I’m going because my dad was a history teacher and he always emphasized on knowing your culture and your background and where you came from,” said Thompson. “This event will give me insight on where I have come from, what my people have gone through and why I am blessed to be where I am today. People don’t usually realize what it takes for a black student to come to college, to succeed and have achievements. So I feel like they’re going to get a new perspective of what blacks, or African-Americans, have gone through, and where they’ve come and how much they have fought to be where they are.”

    The OC body’s excitement for the presentation of Carlotta Walls LaNier and Terrence Roberts and their experiences has motivated a sellout show. LaNier and Roberts went through much abuse to get their education, and have spread appreciation throughout the campus. Students and faculty have realized the significance of this event, and by the end, there will be a much higher appreciation for education.
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