Showing posts from September, 2023


  ©Wendell Griffen, 2023   I am a product of public education. I was born September 23, 1952 – making me now 71 years old – when Jim Crow public segregation was required by law in Arkansas. Although my family lived less than three miles from Delight High School (in Pike County), I didn’t know where it was until September 1965, when Black children from my rural neighborhood began attending Delight High School for the first time. ·       That was eleven (11) years after the Supreme Court of the United States issued the landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education . ·       That was eight (8) years after nine Black children were admitted to Little Rock Central High School thanks to the presence of troops from the 101 st Airborne Division.            P ublic education was segregated by race in Arkansas. And the inequities associated with Jim Crow public education were known by religious people. Religious people in Arkansas conceived, enacted, implemented, administered, and b


  © Wendell Griffen, 2023   In Chapter 22 of To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee’s classic novel about racial injustice, there is an unforgettable line spoken by Miss Maudie, a white woman, to Jem Finch, a white boy whose father, a lawyer named Atticus Finch, had defended a Black man named Tom Robinson who was wrongly charged with raping a white woman. Jem was appalled at the bigotry white people expressed towards Robinson and was crushed about the guilty verdict. In an attempt to provide encouragement to Jem and his sister, Scout, Miss Maudie invited them to her home for cake. She noticed that Jem was upset about the outcome of the trial and the racial prejudice he had witnessed. In an attempt to console the boy, Miss Maude said: “Don’t fret, Jem. Things are never as bad as they seem.” I wish that Harper Lee had given Jem permission to make this response to that comment. “Miss Finch, you’re right. Things are never as bad as they seem. Sometimes they are worse.”  Harper Lee was n