Before I read the article about the death of Jefferson Thomas, my first thought was why that name was unfamiliar to me. It occurred to me why only after reading the first sentence. “Jefferson Thomas, who as a teenager was among nine black students to integrate a Little Rock high school in the nation’s first major battle over school segregation, has died. He was 68.” “Thomas died Sunday in Ohio of pancreatic cancer, according to a statement from Carlotta Walls LaNier, who also enrolled at Central High School in 1957 and is president of the Little Rock Nine Foundation.” “The integration fight was a first real test of the federal government’s resolve to enforce a 1954 Supreme Court order outlawing racial segregation in the nation’s public schools. After Gov. Orval Faubus sent National Guard troops to block Thomas and eight other students from entering Central High, President Eisenhower ordered in the Army’s 101st Airborne Division. (Parsons, Tom, Associated Press, Little Rock 9 member Jefferson Thomas dies in Ohio, Retrieved from email@example.com).
It is times like this that even I must take a few minutes and express gratitude to those pioneers who traversed this road long before me and made it possible for me to take this journey at all. We sometimes forget that there had to be a first in order for there ever to be a second or a third. We spend years worrying about our trails and tribulations not once thinking of those who made our opportunity to worry a reality. I used to think if those before ever felt anything close to what we deal with today, only to learn that what we endure today is nothing close to that which they did.
“Thomas added.”One of them said, ‘Well I don’t mind playing basketball or football with you or anything.” “You guys are good at sports.” “Everybody knows that, but you’re just not smart enough to sit next to me in the classroom.'”(Parsons, Tom, Associated Press, Little Rock 9 member Jefferson Thomas dies in Ohio, Retrieved from firstname.lastname@example.org). This passage begs to question since the attitude of being good at sports still exist, does that also apply to good enough to play sports with but not smart enough to sit next to in the classroom? Is it a belief that no matter how much education one receives they will always be judged first and foremost by the color of their skin instead of content of character? Whether this is the case or not what is most important is not how anyone else sees you but how you see yourself. Our only true limitations are those we place upon ourselves.