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Civil Rights Activists gather at NEA for a nonviolence summit



Blytheville, Arkansas – Friday, descendants of major civil rights leaders visited Blytheville High School to meet with children from Northeast Arkansas.

The visit was part of the Martin Luther King Jr. Commission’s Nonviolence Summit in Arkansas. Executive Director DuShun Scarbrough stated that youngsters would be able to learn firsthand from civil rights activists at the event.

“Who better to hear the information from and learn from? They should realize that it is truly a blessing to have these individuals coming here today,” he said.

Bernice King, the daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., attended the event and signed copies of her book “It Begins with Me.”

Also present were Angela Shuttlesworth, granddaughter of Fred Shuttlesworth, Annie Abrams, mentor of the “Little Rock Nine,” and Donzaleigh Abernathy, daughter of Fred Abernathy.

Abernathy was excited to have the chance to speak in Blytheville.

“I’m totally honored. I got the chance to a whole new Arkansas… an Arkansas where there is so much hope and early this morning, I got the opportunity to speak to young people who listened intently to what I had to say,” she said.

The event was equally significant to the citizens of Blytheville. When Blytheville High School was desegregated in 1970, Norma Valley was a student there. The enormity of the event nearly left her breathless.

“Today has been just… it has brought back a lot of memories and it’s been a good day. It’s been a real good day.”

She stated that she hopes the students learned something from what they heard today.

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