Monday, October 30, 2006

Little Rock II

The Little Rock trip was well worth the time and effort. The "behind-the-scenes" tour of the Clinton Library was informative - 20 million email to be processed (not counting the attachments to any of these) is only a starting point.

Part of the group was also willing to go by the Central High School National Historic Site. They are in the process of building a new visitors' center. As with visting any historic place, it gives you a better feel of how history actually happened. Another professor in the group recommended Warriors Don't Cry as another possible teaching resource. Also note the numerous lesson plans developed by NPS staff available Three of the Little Rock Nine spoke at a plenary session at the meeting - again, another good way of experiencing history. All 3 panelists agreed that the most important point we should convey to our students is that there was discrimination and segregation so that it never happens again. It also points to better understanding the racial strife that still surrounds us. Because I live in a mostly "wide bread" rural area, the latent racism that still exists often surprises me - especially since it is often an unconscious assumption on the part of those that make racist comments and/or hold racist beliefs. Often the comments don't connect with their actual beliefs about people but further education can only serve to better illuminate issues related to tolerance. On a related note, the panelists aslo emphasized reverse racism - sometime often ignored in today's "examinations" of societal interactions.

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