From its modest beginning as a classroom assignment, the Memory Project at Central High School has grown to become a full-sized book that commemorates the national struggle for civil rights.
The Memory Project started as a class assignment for ninth-graders in 2007 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Central’s historic desegregation in 1957. As the students heard stories of that year and learned lessons on racial tolerance, the project continued to grow.
A website (www.lrchmemory.org) was constructed, and students soon began compiling the stories they collected into a book. Beyond Central, Toward Acceptance at once recounts the lessons the students learned from a generation’s struggle to fulfill the national promise of civil rights, salutes those who became agents of change and exemplifies what high school students can contribute to the history of their community and the nation.
“It is the hope of Central’s students that these personal narratives can open a door into history and encourage students today to continue the process of change in race relations and civil rights in their own lives and communities,” said George West, a teacher at Central and a member of the Memory Project team.
Beyond Central, Toward Acceptance contains 18 illustrations and is edited by students Mackie O’Hara and Alex Richardson.
6 x 9, 242 pages
$19.95 paper, ISBN 978-1-935106-21-0