Expressions of faith
A Black History moment
Hatred in the Bible Belt

Last updated on June 23rd, 2015 at 02:53 pm

Rev. William Watson

Rev. William Watson

Arkansas’ Gov. Orval Faubus was so opposed to integration that he defied the 1954 Supreme Court ruling of Brown v. Board of Education. Even though the court declared segregation to be unconstitutional, Gov. Faubus ordered the state’s 10,000 member national guard to stop the nine Black students from entering Little Rock Central High School. On September 23, 1957, a mob of angry Whites congregated outside the high school.

When word spread that the Black children had already entered the school building, the mob grew violent. Four Black journalists tried to discreetly cover the story without being noticed which was nearly an impossible feat for six-foot, three-inch Lucious Wilson. When someone hollered the Black children were already in the school, the mob went into attack mode. Three of the Black reporters managed to run for help, but Lucious said he “would not run.” The mob closed in on him as a man kicked him in the upper back.

Another kicked him in the lower back, but he never turned to see who did it. He just kept walking.

A man jumped on his back and held him in a chokehold, and the beating was proving to be too much. Lucious fell to the ground more frequently under an onslaught of feet and fists. Each time he slowly rose picking up his hat, and re-creasing it and continuing to walk, holding true to his promise to “never run again.” Then a man with a brick hit him in the back of the head. Again he fell; again he got up. The man with the brick hit him again.

The other Black reporters ran to a motorcycle policeman for help, but the officer kick-started his bike and sped off. The beating Lucious Wilson took in Little Rock resulted in permanent injuries. He developed Parkinson Disease, which led to his early death. Little Rock is part of the famed ‘Bible Belt where almost everyone there claimed to be a Christian in 1960.

Even Gov. Faubus claimed to be a member of one of the largest denominations in the state. Where was his preacher? Were some of the those in the mob church leaders? “But, I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you,” Matthew 5:44.

My weekly prayer is for the reader of this commentary to be spiritually inspired of God. Become a Prayer Partner with Expressions of Faith Ministry. Contact EOF at P.O. Box 330127, Nashville, Tenn. 37203; or e-mail <>.