Little Rock Nine: Their Struggles and How They Can be Applied to Us Today

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In 1957 a group of nine children crossed boundaries that no one had dared to cross before. Standing up for not only themselves, but also an entire race of people, they challenged segregation head on. Despite all the pain and agony they went through, the Little Rock Nine continued to stand against injustice for a better, more equal tomorrow. Although our country has come a long way, there is still much to be done to eliminate segregation. The end to segregation started on May 17, 1954 with the Supreme Court’s ruling in “Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, that separated public schools for whites and blacks were illegal” (Beals, 1995, p. 12). By May 24, 1955 plans had been made to limit integration to Central High School. These plans, however, would not be carried out until September 1957, two years later. Around this time was when the famous Rosa Parks, on December 1, 1955, “refused to give up her seat to a white man on an Alabama bus. Her willingness to be arrested rather than give in one more time led to the Montgomery, Alabama, bus boycott” (Beals, 1995, p. 20). Then in February 8, 1956, the NAACP demanded that the schools integrate immediately. The Little Rock governor, Orval Faubus, refused to support integration of the Arkansas schools. As all this unfolded, white citizens became increasingly incandescent and even violent towards blacks (Beals, 1995). In 1955 a group of over 100 students voluntarily signed their name on a paper stating they would like to attend an all-white-school. Out of this original pool, the Little Rock School Board selected 16 students (Interview with Melba Patillo Beals). Out of these 16 only nine would go on to desegregate Central High School. The Little Rock Nine consisted ... ... middle of paper ... ...encyclopedia/media-detail.aspx?mediaID=7781 Counts, W. (Photographer). (1958). Ernest green standing outside central high school stadium on graduation night. [Web]. Retrieved from http://encyclopediaofarkansas.net/encyclopedia/medi a-detail.aspx?mediaID=7064 Dortch, G. (1957, September 19). Central high thrown in national spotlight as it faces integration. The Tiger , http://www.centralhigh57.org/the_tiger.htm#Sept.%2019 Dortch, G. (1957, October 3). Integration goes forward at chs. The Tiger , http://www.centralhigh57.org/the_tiger.htm#Sept.%2019 Huckaby, E. P. (1957). Letters to bill. http://digitalcollections.uark.edu/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/ Civilrights&CISOPTR=333&CISOBOX=1&REC=16 Tough decisions are worth fighting for..ernest green-little rock nine. SBMS Teen Press, http://www.sbmsteenpress.org/TP-yeswecan/5-lr9-green.html

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