Remembering Our Past

Every third Monday of January has been set aside in America to celebrate an incredible man, Martin Luther King Jr. King, a civil rights activist and Nobel peace prize winner, is celebrated for his nonviolent protests against segregation. King was a phenomenal speaker and inspired millions to fight for equality. All of America was swept up in this fight, including Fort Smith, Ark. and the Fort Smith Junior College.

In the early 1960’s, as King’s civil rights movement grew in momentum, according to “University of Arkansas- Fort Smith: the First 85 Years” demands for the admission of black students became more frequent. The college struggled with the decision for several months, but on May 8, 1962 the Board of Trustees voted to allow the admittance of black students. Fort Smith joined the ranks of countless other Americans in support of King’s fight for social equality.

In 1968, the same year Martin Luther King was assassinated, Greg Davis became the first African American athlete to play intercollegiate sports for Westark. Today the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith enjoys a multicultural student body with no discrimination, and for this we owe a huge thanks to a man who was willing to die for his dream, Martin Luther King. 

Julia Heffington
Date Posted: 
Monday, January 27, 2014