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Black educators of LR's past to be honored

By ArkansasOnline

This article was published February 26, 2014 at 8:55 a.m.

A Black History Month program set for Thursday plans to pay posthumous tribute to the legacies of a pair of black teachers in Little Rock.

The program, to be hosted by the city's Racial and Cultural Diversity Commission, will honor educators Charlotte Andrews Stephens and Sue Cowan Williams. Stephens, known by the nickname Lottie, was the first black teacher in the Little Rock district. She taught for 70 years before retiring in 1939, according to the Encyclopedia of Arkansas. Williams represented black teachers in the 1942 class-action lawsuit Morris v. Williams, which sought salary parity between black and white teachers.

Music, dramatizations and stories from students recognizing outstanding teachers will be featured in the program, set for 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Thursday in the Little Rock City Hall rotunda, 500 W. Markham St.

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Populist says... February 26, 2014 at 7:47 p.m.

A few of the best teachers I ever had were black. I especially remember my fifth grade teacher at Williams Elementary, Mrs. Swedeburg. She had us putting on plays and giving political speeches. It must have been interesting teaching at a mostly white school in about 1970. My year with her was one of the best ever; it was both fun and extremely enriching.

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