University of Arkansas at Little Rock


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John Kirk – Sixtieth Anniversary Reflections on the 1957 Desegregation of Little Rock’s Central High School

November 7, 2017 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Sixty years after the dramatic events surrounding the 1957 desegregation of Little Rock’s Central High School, which led to President Dwight D. Eisenhower deploying federal troops to ensure the safety of nine black students, this talk reflects on how historical and popular culture representations of events in Little Rock have located the school crisis within the context of the broader civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. It examines how different approaches to the school crisis by historians from local, state, regional, national, and international perspectives have produced different understandings of the events that unfolded in the city. In many ways, the historiography of the 1957 Little Rock school crisis provides a microcosm of the wider trends that have shaped historical representations of the civil rights movement. The talk also explores how popular culture representations of the school crisis have influenced and shaped intellectual debate in a wide variety of media including theatre, film, essays, poetry and music.

Refreshments and an informal atmosphere encourage the interchange of ideas.  Refreshments are served at 7:00 p.m., and the talk begins at 7:30 p.m.

Subscribers to the series help support historical research. See the History Institute’s website for subscription information.


Historic Arkansas Museum
200 E. Third Street
Little Rock, AR 72201 United States
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