Humility and Legacy

In 2008 I moved to Little Rock, AR with no idea about who or what the Little Rock Nine were. Prior to living in Little Rock I had thought that I understood racism and segregation, but as a white person, I had never seen or felt it so keenly before. The very clear divide between white and black in Little Rock opened my eyes to the divides in my hometown and in every single place I have lived since.

Ernest Green speaking about the 50th Anniversary of The Little Rock Nine

The sweetest neighbor and landlady I've ever had grew up across the street from Daisy Bates. She said that she remembers waking up in the middle of the night to see a cross burning on her friend and neighbor's lawn and how stricken she was by that. When I heard her story, it brought home to me how such overt hatred isn't far removed from the present day at all. After the last week we've had, it should finally be clear to those who want to believe that those times are long behind us that, in fact, they are right here and now.

To those who came before me and who have done the hard work of making civil rights and social justice a reality, I look to you in humility, and I will do my best to be your legacy.

An illustration of Little Rock High from a children's book I'm working on, The Real Big Tank


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