Melba Patillo and the Arkansas Nine

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Melba Patillo changed history by enduring one of the first high school integration in history. Without Melba's bravery and endurance we would not have black people and white people together in the same building, much less in the same schools. Melba and the other eight black students spent one gruesome year at Central High, which is located in Little Rock, Arkansas. They not only tried to socialize and study, they had to go to press conferences concerning integration and were forced to ride in a car driven by soldiers. They had to be alert every second for the entire year in order to survive. These nine kids, also known as the Arkansas Nine, have showed the world that they can beat segregation.

Nineteen hundred fifty seven was a horrible time in Little Rock, Arkansas. Segregationists were opposed to the blacks having any power and threw racial words at black people. There was a large lawsuit about integration in Little Rock in 1952 that wanted to have black students attend an all white school. Unfortunately, a petition was filed opposing black kids going to an all white school. Miraculously ,May 17, 1954 was the surprising day that the Supreme Court ruled in the case of Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas. Their ruling stated that segregating public schools made them unequal and was illegal. Segregationists did whatever it was necessary to stop the integration in Central High School. Gov. Faubus tried to stall the integration by having two hundred witnesses testtify in opposition. Fortunately with the help of the NAACP, the court decided to make the integration work in 1957.

The school year was exhausting for the Arkansas Nine. The white students had to be mean to the Arkansas Nine or be threatened by segregationists if they helped the Arkansas Nine. Melba, One of the Arkansas Nine, was a strong warrior even as a baby. She was born on Pearl Harbor Day with a scalp infection. The nurse did not tell Mother Lois how to get rid of had the infection, because she said “We do not coddle with n---------s.” If it was not for the janitor eavesdropping on the doctor telling the nurse about the cure, and telling Mother Lois, Melba would not have lived to become a warrior at the school.
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