Last week we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. by holding three days of theatrical performances, discussions, readings, and more. On Wednesday, January 23rd, we went to see "We Shall Overcome" as part of the Flynn Theatre student matinee series. Students witness the powerful music of Damien Sneed and co., who sang traditional civil rights era spirituals, combined with the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
On Thursday, we spent the day reading King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail," discussing desegregation in Little Rock, and encountering current issues of race and civil rights through the lens of Ta-Nehisi Coates's "The Case for Reparations." Students took part in a school-wide discussion about our history with race, and what we can do in the present day to move things forward.
Finally, on Friday, we saw the play "Warriors Don't Cry," an original, one-woman play dramatizing Melba Patillo Beals’ searing memoir about the battle to integrate Little Rock’s central high school. Our students demonstrated their thoughtfulness, empathy, and motivation to make change throughout these discussions and events. Dismantling racism in our culture is more than just a one day or one week event and our students are already seeking ways to use their critical thinking skills and privilege to move their communities forward.
Photos from left to right: Ta-Nehisi Coates, Martin Luther King, Jr., Melba Patillo Beals