Jacqueline Christion, head bowed-chin to chest and arms folded, watched footage of a familiar scene on Wednesday. She had seen this footage before. In fact, she was one of the features in this particular film.
It was on a day in October of 1961. She along with 12 other black children started their first day of elementary school—at an all-white school.
"It was exciting, but I was nervous and scared," Christion recounts on the film.
Christion lifted her head to the screen as she heard the voice of a friend, Sharon Malone, "Once that door closed and our parents walked out of that school, it was us."
"The Memphis 13" premiered in the Beale Room of the University of Memphis' University Center to a crowd of more than 30 students and 30 university professors and personnel. The documentary accounted the experiences of 13 African American 5-year-olds who were the first to integrate Memphis City Schools. The group was divided and sent to four inner-city elementary schools: Rozelle, Bruce, Gordon and Springdale.
"That was a part of our childhood that we just wanted to shut out of our lives for the rest of our lives," Malone said on the panel that afternoon.