September 27, 1949
A bond issue for a new school for African Americans in Crittenden County was defeated. Meanwhile, a new $300,000 facility for 900 white children had just opened. Life magazine carried an article in March of that same year with accompanying photographs detailing the conditions of black education in West Memphis (Crittenden County), which spent an average of $144.51 for each white child’s education and $19.51 for the education of each black child. Photographs revealed the crowded conditions in the black school, which had been partially destroyed by fire. Some 310 students and their five teachers were squeezed into five rooms of the gutted building, and 370 more were packed into a one-room church. Not until 1971 did the first black students graduate from the integrated Marion High School.