The Little Rock Nine: The History and Legacy of the Struggle to Integrate Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas after Brown v. Board of Education

The Little Rock Nine: The History and Legacy of the Struggle to Integrate Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas after Brown v. Board of Education

by Charles River Editors
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Overview

*Includes pictures
*Includes a bibliography for further reading
Though Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence wrote that the United States would be founded on the principles that all men were created equal, nearly 200 years would pass before the principle was put into any real practice. While the end of the Civil War opened the door for the passage of the Civil War Amendments, which abolished slavery, and, in theory, granted the descendants of both free and enslaved blacks the same rights as those enjoyed by whites, those rights were not respected or practiced during the century following the war. Most aspects of life, including schooling, remained segregated on every level, especially throughout the Jim Crow South, and the years following the desegregation triumph of Brown v. Board of the Education in 1954 saw little done to accomplish the instructions given by the Supreme Court. Put simply, even as Americans are instantly familiar with important events such as the decision in Brown v. Board of Education, Rosa Parks' refusal to give up her seat, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, and the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it's also common knowledge that the efforts to integrate society faced stiff resistance, often violently. James Meredith's struggle to integrate the University of Mississippi in 1962 is still remembered vividly, but the Little Rock Nine are frequently overlooked when it comes to discussing the Civil Rights Movement, despite attempting to integrate Little Rock Central High School five years earlier. For millions of kids, high school is a tumultuous time, with social highs and lows, academic pressure, and extracurricular wins and losses, but for the Little Rock Nine, the first African American students to attend a previously segregated high school in Little Rock, Arkansas, those years were nightmarish.
Getting into Central High School was an obstacle witnessed by the entire nation, but that was only the beginning of their ordeal, because once they were permitted to step through the doors, their true battle began, pitting them against bullies, tormentors, and narrow-minded ignorance. While many teenagers' main concern is finding a date for prom, theirs was surviving until lunch, and when some students were worrying about making the volleyball team, they were worried about making it home alive each day. The Little Rock Nine and their families and neighbors could not trust the local government to serve them, the school system to treat them fairly, or the police to protect them. As Melba Patillo Beals, one of the Little Rock Times, noted, "All my life I had felt unprotected by city officials...Whites had control of the police, the firemen, and the ambulances. They could decide who got help and who didn't. Even if the Ku Klux Klan ravaged one of our homes, we wouldn't call the police for help."
The physical and psychological torture they endured profoundly affected them for the rest of their lives, but their experiences irrevocably changed the country. Integration at Central High School was symbolic of the struggle for racial equality throughout the United States, according to Time magazine's Lina Mai. It was the first public test case of whether school integration would work in the South. Just as Rosa Parks became a symbol for the fight for equality in the public arena, the Little Rock Nine became a collective symbol for the fight for equality in public schools.
The Little Rock Nine: The History and Legacy of the Struggle to Integrate Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas after Brown v. Board of Education examines how a landmark case led to the efforts to integrate schools in the South, and what life was like for the Little Rock Nine as they did so. Along with pictures of important people, places, and events, you will learn about the Little Rock Nine like never before.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9798672063348
Publisher: Independently published
Publication date: 08/03/2020
Pages: 48
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.10(d)

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