Interview with James L. Hicks


James L. Hicks:

Ah, on that first day, we went, we traveled by car the three of us, by car to Central High School. Daisy and the Little Rock nine were in back of us in another car. We arrived at the school when there was a mob already out in front of the school. And from that point on, we didn't see Daisy and them until afterwards because they went into and she's clever, we they didn't come right in the front door, they went into a side door. And pretty soon we were out there on the mall in front of the school and the word got to the crowd outside that the niggers are in the school. And so, they said to us on the outside, "Did you decoy, did you lead these people in, you come out here as a decoy and let other people slippin' into the side of this building?" So, ah, I mean, this was something that ah, I said "Hell no" like that, you see.** And ah, the, rest of us said this was ridiculous. But, I remember one man who came upon me. He was a one-armed man. But now, this was a mob all around us, about I mean, we were out-numbered I guess about 500 to one. And so they started getting smart and what not. And pretty soon, this one man, he put his arm around my neck, like this and the others start attacking me. But I was able to look up and see that whereas, I was being held and my clothes torn off, Alex Wilson, somebody had a brick in his hand and instead of throwing the brick, cause he was too close, and he didn't want to, I guess, throw it, he hit Wilson, up the side of his head, with this brick I mean a full brick it picked up um, and slapped him like that. Of course, Wilson was more than six feet tall, an ex-Marine, he went down like a tree.** Uh, the, Newsome, he was mauled, I was mauled, I remember being the one thing that I remember was that when I bent over like this, and he was circling me to see if he could get up underneath me, I mean I'm bent double like this, and he was trying to get his foot, I mean, kick me in my stomach, you know, like that in the groin. And ah, so ah, we started running but it was hardly anyway to run because they were surrounding us, you see. We saw the FBI, who did nothing, but ah, we finally ran away and got down to the black section of Little Rock. But the kids got in school.