My Genius Hour Project: Willard A. Hawkins

By: Mikayla Haygood

For my Genius Hour project, I wanted to learn about my family. My question was: Did anyone in my family do anything important? Through my research, I learned about my great grandad, Willard A. Hawkins. I chose to write a news article to share my learning with the world.

My great grandad, Willard A. Hawkins, joined the Air Force in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1940. He fought in World War II until 1945. In the late 1960’s, Hawkins became involved in the Civil Rights movement. He thought it was unfair that African Americans got treated differently than white people. He went to

the business owners in downtown Little Rock and worked with them to open their stores to African American shoppers. From 1966 to 1968, he campaigned for Governor Winthrop Rockefeller against Orville Faubus and helped him win. Rockefeller named my grandad as director of the Selective Service. He developed the most fully integrated draft program in the country. Also, he made sure that there were equal numbers of African American and white serviceman on the board in charge of the Selective Service system in Arkansas.

This is important to everyone in our country because if he did not fight for civil rights, treatment might still be the same today. People would not be able to shop or eat in the same places. They would not go to school together. This is important to me because my mom is white, and my dad is black. If people like my grandad did not stand up for what they believe in, I would not exist.

For my next Genius Hour project, I want to learn about baking because i want to be a baker when I grow up. Genius Hour lets me learn about things I am interested in.


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