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SUNDAY, JULY 29, 2007
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African students trace U.S. civil rights

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Posing for pictures on the steps of a school where nine black youths were met with jeers and threats nearly 50 years ago, a group of African students embarked Friday on a tour through the South that will take them to the landmarks in the civil rights struggle.

The 19 college students from Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa laughed and posed for pictures as they began a tour at Little Rock Central High School, which marks the 50th anniversary of its desegregation this fall.

“Back in Kenya, I had known nothing about Central High School,” said Oscar Kituyi, 23, who is studying mathematics and business in Nairobi. “When I came here, the first introduction of the whole issue of civil rights was that Central High was an epic scenario in this whole struggle. It was what attracted publicity to fight this evil that fell on our society.”

The students’ tour — to landmarks in Memphis, Birmingham, Atlanta and Greensboro, N.C. — was arranged through an international exchange program at the University of Arkansas’ Spring International Language Center.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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