Remembering Civil Rights Pioneer Eliot Battle

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COLUMBIA - Community members and students attended a free public screening Tuesday of a documentary highlighting the life of Eliot Battle. The university showed the documentary, "Battle: Change From Within," at the University of Missouri's Ellis Library.

Battle was the first African-American faculty member at Hickman High School in 1960. Much of his service improved race relations and injustice in both neighborhoods and schools in Columbia. In lieu of the 50th Anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s March on Washington, a conversation about equality and justice sparked throughout different Columbia neighborhoods.

All Star Cuts owner and barber Lloyd Hayes said it was a pleasant reminder for him and his son. Hayes said, "Mr. Battle is just one piece of the puzzle, Martin Luther King is one piece of the puzzle, Medgar Evers is one piece of the puzzle, we have to put all of these pieces together so they can see the big picture in the end so when he is my age he can preserve the history to his kids." 

Community leader Tyree Byndom said that Battle's work was crucial. "This is no longer a civil rights issue this is a human rights issue," said Byndom.

For a list of the official events for the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington click here