Remembering, Honoring Judge Davies
January 15, 2013
With the help of a new video, students are learning about de–segregation and the civil rights movement.
The movie re–lives the federal ruling by a Fargo judge 56 years ago in which schools in Little Rock, Arkansas were ordered to integrate.
Fox Reporter Ariel Rothfield has more on Fargo's latest civil rights curriculum.
It's a story about one judge, nine students and the rest is civil rights history.
Fargo Public Schools and several Fargo residents have teamed up to create a video remembering North Dakota Federal Judge Ronald Davies and the Little Rock Nine.
Their hopes, to take students back in time to when everyday life was a challenge for them.
"Everyone who sees this video will see these were nine students facing death threats and daily harassment, bullying beyond anything we could imagine in our minds," said Art Phillips of Video Arts Studio.
The 30–minute movie takes students back to 1957 when schools in Little Rock, Arkansas were ordered to be integrated. Parents protested. The State's governor ordered the National Guard to keep nine African American students from entering the school.
But 'the stranger in Little Rock'—Judge Davies—said behind the chaos, the law itself was simple.
"It was really clear. Schools in had to be integrated," said Ronald Davies, a US Federal Judge.
Judge Davies is remembered throughout the entire United States but he is specifically commemorated here, in Fargo, where he ended his career.
Fargo's newest high school was named after the iconic judge.
"It's more than just naming a high school after a person. It's about bringing history to life, about bringing it alive."Now this is the next step, it really pays out well," said Dr. Jeffery Schatz, Fargo Schools Superintendent.
Those behind the movie say their goal is to bring attention to the heroic actions of Judge Davies—a story unfamiliar to many.
"We all know the story of the Little Rock Nine. How they were allowed to go to school and weren't allowed to go school. It's that story in between about Judge Davies and his role in Little Rock," said Carl Oberholzter, the Road to Little Rock Project Manager.
A story filled with danger and risk taking.
"Judge Davies faced the same type of danger and opportunities to walk away from it and he did not. He demonstrated incredible courage," said Phillips.
Courage that the filmmakers hope students will take away.
Ariel Rothfield, Fox News.
While the Little Rock Nine may be his most well–known case, Judge Davies said he did not consider it his greatest achievement.
The Road to Little Rock film will be screened next Thursday and is open to the public.