A fourth grade teacher in Texas has “apologized to the appropriate people” after she defended resigned renegade McKinney cop Eric Casebolt in a Facebook post calling for a return to segregation.

According to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Karen Fitzgibbons, a fourth grade teacher at Bennet Elementary in Wolforth, Texas, took to Facebook on Tuesday to express her frustration with the outrage in McKinney, Texas and nationally after a police officer was videotaped violently manhandling a 14-year old girl at a pool party and pulling out a gun on other unarmed teenagers.

Fourth-grade instructor Karen Fitzgibbons shares her inflammatory thoughts about “the blacks”


PHOTOGRAPHY: Gordon Parks - Segregation Story

The Arthur Roger Gallery is pleased to present Segregation Story, an exhibition of photographs by Gordon Parks. The exhibition will be on view at the gallery from August 2 – September 20, 2014.

Gordon Parks is considered one of the most influential American photographers of the postwar years and was the first African-American to work as a staff photographer for Life magazine.

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Martin Luther King Jr. spoke to the masses and lead marches arm in arm with his wife Coretta on Washington, from Selma to Montgomery, to posing for a mugshot in a police station, the numbers 7080 hanging across his chest. All these images paint a picture of King himself, but a commemoration of the man must also include the images of suffering that drove him towards action. King was born out of America’s history of segregation, racism and civil unrest.

In these photos, the portrayal of daily life in segregated times, fraught with overt racial tension. African Americans are seen going about their daily lives while walking through separate entrances or occupying back seats. They also show acts of opposition, like sitting in “white seat” or drinking from a “white fountain,” and marching through the streets with signs declaring protest.

It’s easy to forget that these photos aren’t from the distant past, King would be just 86 years old if he weren’t murdered in 1968. As the last year showed from Ferguson to New York, we still live in an America at odds with itself and its views on race. This photos show what we were, and what King dreamed we’d become.


How To Talk To Kids About Racism In America – With A Picture Book

How do you start a conversation with children on America’s legacy of racial injustice? You tell them the story of an artist who confronted segregation and exposed that legacy.

A new picture book, Gordon Parks: How the Photographer Captured Black and White America, takes on the admirable task of translating challenging material to readers ages 5 to 8. Written by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Jamey Christoph, the book traces Parks’ journey from Fort Scott, Kansas, to Washington, D.C., as he nurtured his interest in photography as a way to document and expose oppression in the United States.

Two-thirds of minority students still attend schools that are predominantly minority, most of them located in central cities and funded well below those in neighboring suburban districts. Recent analyses of data prepared for school finance cases in Alabama, New Jersey, New York, Louisiana, and Texas have found that on every tangible measure—from qualified teachers to curriculum offerings—schools serving greater numbers of students of color had significantly fewer resources than schools serving mostly white students.


So for those who don’t know any of the history of the integration of America’s public schools, you should Google the LR9. It’s such a well-documented history that I won’t bother rehashing what others have already covered. I’ll just add some odds-n-ends commentary to supplement what you’ll readily find online:

  • Carlotta Walls is the young woman in the second panel, standing closest to the guardsman, looking directly at the camera. She was the youngest of the 9. Ms. Walls actually signed up to attend Little Rock Central High School WITHOUT FIRST TELLING HER PARENTS. They supported her decision to go to Central, after the fact. More on her below.
  • Go home nigger! Go back to Africa!,” is what Hazel Bryan is spewing at the back of Elizabeth Eckford’s head, in panel four. The two women actually actually met again as adults, and they reconciled; sort of. That story is interesting, and can be found here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/8813134/Elizabeth-Eckford-and-Hazel-Bryan-the-story-behind-the-photograph-that-shamed-America.html
  • Panel seven depicts a contemplative Ernest Green on graduation day, 1958. He was the first to receive his diploma from Little Rock Central. More on him below.
  • The next-to-last panel shows the LR9 receiving the Congressional Medal of Honor from President Bill Clinton, in the East Room of the White House, November 9, 1999.
  • That last photograph was taken just this past June, in the auditorium of Central High. From left to right are Ernest Green, Carlotta Walls-LaNier, Spirit Trickey (daughter of LR9 member Minnijean Brown) and current Central High principal Nancy Rousseau.

So I was in Little Rock, AK, last month, on history business which placed me in that auditorium, merely three rows away from the panelists. Here is some of what Mr. Green and Mrs. Walls-Lanier shared with the audience on Wednesday, June 4, 2014, while reflecting on their experience integrating Central:

Earnest Green

… We were the first back-packers. It only took us about a week of having our books knocked out of our hands several times a day and getting hit in the face with debris to realize that we needed our hands free. So we bought back packs to carry our books around in so that our hands would be free.

… We developed a system, along with the National Guard, to move through the halls safely. We would always walk up against the walls of the school building - in the hallways, through the stair wells - so that the Guard could walk beside us a shield from the white students who most vehemently didn’t want us there.

… When it came close to time for me to graduate, the principal of the school offered to mail my diploma to my house, so that I could avoid the tension of walking across the stage. I politely refused and stated that I intended to walk across that stage like everyone else. There was no way I was gonna miss out on that, after all I had been through… When I walked across the stage, there was dead silence. And then one slight Black man in a nice suit, who was sitting next to my parents, began to clap. That man was Martin Luther King, Jr. He had been following us in the news, and came just to support us. Luckily, white folks hadn’t yet discovered him. This was 1958, so we knew who he was, but most of them didn’t yet.

… I received an invitation to my 50th class reunion. I assume there had been other ones, since the invitation said “50th,” but it was the first one I’d ever received. So I went, in 2008. Everyone was nice to me, and many people even posed for pictures with me with their families. The funny thing was… they all were against racism, and told me how much they hated the way I was treated while at Central, but nobody in that reunion that night was racist, and certainly none of them had been involved.

… I learned that night that this one main group of our tormentors was being assisted by some of the teachers in the school. It was our chemistry teacher, who actually seemed pretty nice, who was making the bombs that that group used to firebomb some of our houses.

Carlotta Walls-LaNier

… I want to make one thing clear: we wanted to come to Central because it was the best high school in the city. Period. I don’t get a kick out of sitting next to white people, so I wasn’t here for that. Today this school is ranked in the top 16 of U.S. public high schools. Central High has always been a top-notch school. So I wanted to come here because I had plans for my life post-high school, that demanded that I get the best education Little Rock had to offer.

… My parents had no idea that I had signed up to attend Central. But they didn’t object once I told them. I waited until about two weeks before school was about to start before I did, though. 

… In my family, we didn’t talk about what happened to me at school each day. There was the news, and eventually the National Guard could be withdrawn, but it was just something we never discussed at home. You know, there is counseling for soldiers who return home from war, but we were children, and we were traumatized daily in this school, for years, yet no one provided any of us any kind of relief or counseling. 

… Some of the very people who tormented us the most came up to us at the reunions. One leader of the pack, in particular, who I’ll never forget, because he’s since been… well, his troubles with the law were in the local news, so it’s not a secret… He came up to me and introduced me to his wife and children, asked to take a picture with me, and even asked me for my autograph. He acted like he had no memory of all the awful things he did to me while at Central.