A court order by a United States Federal Judge compelling a Pine Bluff, Arkansas, school board to integrate black and white students has caused a bitter row in the town's white community.
A court order by a United States Federal Judge compelling a Pine Bluff, Arkansas, school board to integrate black and white students has caused a bitter row in the town's white community. This film shows some very good sequences of the school and people involved, with a rally of angry white students and parents outside the school when the board finally admitted some black students.
SYNOPSIS: Pine Bluff, Arkansas, in the United States middle south, was the scene of a bitter row this week -- a row over integration of black and white schools in the town. Part of the town is populated by whites, and the rest is black. Traditionally, white schools are in the south half, and black schools in the north. But a recent law suit resulted in one of the white schools being ordered by a Federal judge to admit black pupils -- who came to school by car or on foot after the school board complied but said it would not supply buses for them.
Meanwhile, on the deadline date for the order, white students who had been transferred to former all-black schools turned up at their old schools with their parents to protest at the move. They were not admitted to classes, but neither were they evicted. Eventually, students and parents left the school to hold a demonstration across the road. They were not protesting at the integration, they said, but at the removal of local control of schools.
The crowd cheered one speaker who threatened to lead a march on Washington in protest at the integration order -- which came after the school board was found to be in contempt of an earlier court order, and the judge had threatened to jail them and the school superintendent. Now white parents have said they will boycott the integrated schools.