10th Street Baptist
As late as 1957, Jim Crowe segregation laws were dominant in the Southern States of the United States. People with colored skin were required to attend separate schools, churches. They had to live in separate parts of town from whites and sit in the back of the bus when using public transportation. Even at Kress’s Lunch Counter they were not allowed to sit in areas where the white people ate. The Supreme Court of the United States, since 1896 had authorized “separate but equal” treatment of African Americans. It was the law of the land until in 1954, in Brown v the Board of Education, a new ruling said that “separate” was not “equal” and that public schools throughout the United States should be integrated, blacks and whites in the same school, as soon as possible.
In Wichita Falls, Texas, a medium All-American town in North Texas, a few black citizens were getting together to integrate Wichita Falls High School, the first integration in the nation. Martin Luther King offered his support and the group called on the Texas National Guard and the U.S. Army for support. The Wichita Falls branch of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) were determined to prevent Negroes from attending their schools.
JD Bartels, our hero, is a Black All-American Football player in the segregated Booker T. Washington High School. He is also a leader in the integration effort. Billie Hamilton is lead cheerleader of the Wichita Falls Coyotes Football team. She and JD accidentally meet on a trip to Northwestern. Future contacts back home and Billie is pregnant with JD as the father. The KKK sets out to lynch JD, two birds with one stone—take care of the sex with a white girl and eliminate the leader of the integration effort.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower is called on to support the integration with troops. He assigns 1000 members of the 101st Airborne Division to accompany the six black students when they show up at the high school for the integration day. Governor Shiver of Texas leads the KKK and other protesters to prevent the black students from registering.
The KKK is after JD and are determined to kill him. Zach Zimmerman, a senior in High School, helps him to escape.
You need to read this Historical Fiction. It’s fun, exciting, and shares a lot of truths about the passage of Civil Rights legislation in the 1950’s and 1960’s.