Collection: Ethel Tompkins
Source: Sept 15, 1955 Times Dispatch, Walnut Ridge
Scanned by James Whitlow
Segregationists descended upon Hoxie in 1955 after a Life Magazine article documented the integration of the public schools.
According to an article entitled “The Hoxie Ibroglio” published in the The Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 48, No. 1 (Spring, 1989), a crowd estimated between 350 and 1,000 met on the courthouse lawn in Walnut Ridge to listen to speeches from Senator James D. Johnson of Crossett, as well as Amis Guthridge and Curt Copeland of White America, Inc. FBI agents were present in the crowd.
The rally caused an increase in intimidation of Hoxie school patrons. By October, school attendance had declined by 50-60 percent. However, two years later in 1957, the Little Rock Integration Crisis was taking place, and Hoxie was no longer in the news. That year Hoxie reported 900 white students and twenty-two black students. By the time I graduated high school in 1979, there was only one black student in the entire school, a good friend and classmate of mine.