The legend of 9-year-old Ron McNair ignoring the segregation of 1959 to check out library books in Lake City now can be experienced in a new medium animation.
StoryCorps, which began creating original animated shorts of selected stories last year, will release its animated version of the McNair library tale today, the anniversary of McNairs death in the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion in 1986.
One of the strengths of the StoryCorps audio series always has been envisioning the scenes in your head as people remember remarkable moments in their lives. Some stories, however, particularly lend themselves to animation treatment, such as Carl McNairs memory of his daring brother.
The playfully animated version should be a hit with children, who have for years been drawn to McNairs rise from humble beginnings to the countrys astronaut corps. At least 20 schools nationwide have been named in McNairs honor.
The animation shows little Ron brazenly walking into the Lake City Public Library, which in those days was not so public for black folks, as Carl remembers. Ron picks out books and tries to check them out, only to be rebuffed by the librarian. When Ron refuses to leave without his books, local police are summoned.
Ron got his books and went on to make Lake City and South Carolina proud. Lake City has a new public library. Not far away, the old building where Ron initially was turned away is now the Dr. Ronald E. McNair Life History Center.
Several of the more than 45,000 conversations recorded by StoryCorps since 2003 have been animated, including one about South Carolinian Ron McNair, which is being released Monday.