Monday, February 2, 2009
Little Rock 9
Tonight I went to listen to Dr. Terrence Roberts speak at our University at Tennessee Tech. He was one of the nine African American teenagers to attend a normally Caucasian populated school, called Central High School in Little Rock Arkansas. Right off the bat I noticed Dr. Roberts’s patience as he spoke. He was very at ease and comfortable about talking about segregation of his time and racism. I am from Wisconsin and frankly have never experienced any sort of racism toward African Americans. I have not been too exposed to these experiences, considering my high school had maybe two African American students in the entire school. I really enjoyed Dr. Robert’s speech and the strength he told his experiences and how he dealt with racism. I was very amazed when he spoke about using nonviolence in every situation. Students would fill water balloons with their own urine and place them in his locker and instead of getting angry he said he removed himself from the situation by smiling and walking away. This would take an insurmountable amount of inner strength to not fight back or to say anything about it. I have a lot of respect for Dr. Roberts and really thought highly of him when he said that he honestly does not believe in fighting. It takes a lot for somebody in our day and age to not fight back to hostile situations. Lastly, I was really appreciative when Mr. Andy stood up and said he was disappointed with all of the empty seats in the auditorium and the lack of representation from our student body at the presentation tonight. I too felt embarrassed because this man made a trip out to speak at our school and share his life experiences and advice and there were quadruple the amount of empty seats in that auditorium than full seats. I really benefited from Dr. Roberts speech and know others would have too. I really hope that in the future we can better represent our university to such honorable presenters.