The Little Rock Nine of Central High School

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Mohandas K. Gandhi liberated India from oppression. Nelson Mandela liberated South Africa from bondage. Who will help liberate the United States from prejudice? Both Gandhi and Mandela saw the need for change and answered the call to do just that. Though they accomplished a great number of things, they endured many trials and tribulations. However, their persecutions did not outweigh their persistence in changing their nation. Because they saw a problem, because they fought for a solution, and because they never gave up, nations were transformed. Fifty years ago, the beginning of a transformation began, not by one great leader, but by nine high school students. Injustices, incrimination and intimidation literally clouded their vision but did not deter them from their course of action. The Little Rock Nine students demonstrated the power of courage and determination by fighting against prejudice and influencing change. The world still needs strong, courageous individuals to stand up and overcome major obstacles today.

In 1954, The Supreme Court issued the Brown v. Board of Education case. The decision established the fact that all segregated schools were unconstitutional and were to be desegregated nationwide (bookrags). Though this integration process would not begin until the 1957-1958 school year, this was a big step for African- Americans. In 1957, nine students had been registered to attend Little Rock's Central High School. Initially, seventeen students had signed up to go to CHS; however, threats and violence became so prevalent that eight students decided against integrating CHS. The nine brave students who determined themselves to attend CHS came to be known as the Little Rock Nine: Thelma Mothershed, Minnijean Brown, Eli...

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...t it will prevail. The six students hold pleasant expressions that express their comfort and confidence in Marshall and Bates. Expressions of hope and happiness fill their faces. Melba gazes straight ahead as if she is looking ahead towards a hopeful future (Bettmann/CORBIS).

What if people would keep hope alive? What if people were determined to encourage determination? It’s time that the people of this nation uplift and support each other through every challenge faced. Instead, the nation exhibits the “new racism” by selfishly wanting success, “in terms of cultural, social, and economic status,” for their own (Beals, 1994). Businessmen won’t help their fellow businessman because they may be selfishly consumed with their own to care of help anyone else succeed. It’s time that our nation encourage and support determination in order for the nation to be prosperous.

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