Provided by Prince William County Schools (PWCS)
Potomac View Elementary marked African-American History Month with a special visit from an icon of the civil rights movement. Elizabeth Eckford shared her story as one of the nine African-American students who made history by enrolling in the all-white Little Rock Central High School in 1957, after the Supreme Court outlawed segregation of public schools.
Potomac View fifth graders listened intently as Eckford recounted how she and the eight others braved violent protests to enter Central High School and how they were intimidated throughout the school year.
Eckford also shared excerpts from the book she co-authored with Dr. Eurydice Stanley, “The Worst First Day: Bullied While Desegregating Central High School.” She answered questions from the students and expressed the importance of treating others with respect. Eckford also emphasized the lasting impact of people’s actions and encouraged all students to stand up for what they believe is right.
“Students and even our staff have a better understanding of the sacrifices others made to ensure we have equal opportunity in education,” commented Potomac View Assistant Principal Stacy Weatherspoon. “We greatly appreciate all they did to open doors.”
Elizabeth Eckford’s visit was sponsored by Army National Guard EO Diversity Office.