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Episode 6: Arkansas - The Lost Year with Bethanie Garcia

podcast Jul 25, 2021

In this episode, Sharon tells the story of the Little Rock Nine to her friend and successful blogger and podcast host, Bethanie Garcia. At the end of the 1950s, following the Brown v. Board of Education decision to integrate schools, the town of Little Rock was nothing short of tumultuous, when nine black students integrated the public high school. Sharon details the complex and outrageous occurrences that happened in Little Rock during those years, including the arrival of the National Guard to block the Little Rock Nine from entering, followed by the governor’s order to close all Little Rock schools rather than integrate. Sharon takes Bethanie along a wild, heartbreaking and frustrating ride through what is now known as “the lost year” in civil rights history. 


Link to Full Episode:

This Episode Will Teach You:

  • What the Little Rock Nine was and what they experienced as the first black students to integrate Little Rock High School 
  • How the NAACP was involved with the Little Rock Nine and helped them gain the attention of the U.S Supreme Court 
  • Why President Eisenhower called in the 101st Airborne to intervene at Little Rock High School 
  • How the U.S government responded to mob rule in Arkansas 
  • The detrimental consequences of racism in Little Rock 


3 Biggest Takeaways:

  • After the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision, the town of Little Rock, Arkansas was hesitant to integrate schools. The NAACP noticed the school board dragging their feet to integrate schools and formed the Little Rock Nine, the first black students to integrate Little Rock High School. The day the Little Rock Nine tried to attend school, thousands of people crowded the school to keep them from entering. The governor of Arkansas even called in the National Guard to block the school doors. 
  • President Eisenhower immediately became involved due to the governor’s blatant insubordination and ordered the U.S Army to Little Rock to ensure the Little Rock Nine could enter the school building. Sharon explains the blatant racism the Little Rock Nine experienced and how racism within the city and state government led to the decision to close all public high schools in Little Rock to resist integration. 
  • Sharon emphasizes that voters and government officials do not always do what is morally right, and explains how racism detrimentally affected thousands of students’ education in Little Rock. In fact, the year Little Rock high schools were closed is known as the “lost year” in civil rights history due to the absence of justice in Little Rock. 

About the Guest:

Bethanie Garcia is a blogger, influencer, podcast host, wife and mother of five. Her podcast, The Garcia Diaries, allows listeners to hear real, raw and completely unfiltered discussions about marriage, sex, motherhood and everything taboo in between. Bethanie is currently based out of Arizona where she lives with her family. 


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