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Firsthand Lesson in History

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Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School students had a firsthand lesson in history when guest speaker Spirit Trickey, daughter of Minnijean Brown-Trickey, a civil rights movement icon who was part of the Little Rock Nine, visited the school on March 31.

Students in the Facing History and Ourselves classes studied the civil rights movement in depth prior to her visit to the high school. Trickey told students that she started to think about the importance of history and activism during her last years in high school. “I was failing math at 17 and when my mother was that age she was changing the world,” she said.
She described the challenges growing up as a biracial child and shared her experiences as the chief of interpretation and public information officer at Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site.

Trickey is the playwright of One Ninth, an exploration of human dignity and racial conflict as seen through the eyes of her mother. She is one of 10 Americans who won the “Ticket to History” essay contest (with more than 250,000 submissions) to witness the inauguration of President Barack Obama, and attend the Inaugural Ball. In 2010, she was named one of the “Top 100 History Makers in the Making” by the and featured on NBC Nightly.