21 African American boys die in Wrightsville fire

March 5

On March 5, 1959, twenty-one African American boys died in the Wrightsville fire at an Arkansas reform school.

The boys’ ages ranging from 13-17, were locked inside a room at Negro Boys Industrial School when the fire started. A memorial site was created in tribute at Haven of Rest Cemetery in Little Rock.


(KTHV), A. J. J. (2022, February 11). Woman still seeking justice after 1959 Wrightsville Fire killed her brother. thv11.com. Retrieved March 1, 2023, from https://www.thv11.com/article/news/local/black-history/woman-seeking-justice-1959-wrightsville-fire-killed-brother/91-c73e503c-cf11-4a47-a6f2-10c66edff8de

Madeo. (n.d.). Mar. 5, 1959: 21 black boys burned to death while locked into neglected “reform” school. calendar.eji.org. Retrieved March 1, 2023, from https://calendar.eji.org/racial-injustice/mar/5 

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