Author Topic: Little Rock Central: 50 Years Later  (Read 56 times)


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Little Rock Central: 50 Years Later
« on: September 25, 2007, 10:19:20 PM »
 HBO will be airing the documentary Little Rock Central: 50 Years Later, tonight (September 25), marking the anniversary of Central High School's historic desegregation crisis.

 Brent Renaud, the Little Rock native who directed the doc, talks to SOHH about the making of the film, the legacy of the Little Rock 9, and what Central High tells us about America today.

"My brother is a graduate of Central High School," Renaud told SOHH. "We knew that Central High School today had the same opportunity that it had fifty years ago to be a symbol of what's going on around the country."[Watch an exclusive clip from the film here]

Long before there was the Jena 6, there was the Little Rock 9. For those unaware of the crucial moment in civil rights history, here is a brief lesson: In 1957, 9 black students-known as the Little Rock 9-were chosen to integrate Little Rock's all-white Central High School. Upset by the situation, Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus called in the state National Guard to ban the students from attending. President Dwight Eisenhower then had to step in and send the teens to school with the help of federal troops.

While Little Rock Central: 50 Years Later, commemorates the historic journey taken half a century ago, the documentary's primary focus is the Central High of today, a school that is predominantly black, but whose classrooms still suffer from segregation because most of the advanced placement classes are largely white.

"The film is very much rooted in the present," Renaud said. "It was important that we make a film about Central High today. Looking through hundreds of hours of footage you see how young these nine kids were, 15, 16-years-old and the burden that came upon them to do what we as adults were unwilling or felt we could not do. These kids took on that burden and in that way they are national heroes."

Little Rock Central: 50 Years Later airs tonight at 8 P.M. EST on HBO.