Little Rock Nine

By Hunter and Emily

Where?

The Little Rock Nine were from Little Rock, Arkansas.

Who?

A group called the "Little Rock Nine" enrolled in Little Rock Central High School. The group consisted of Ernest Green, Elizabeth Eckford, Jefferson Thomas, Terrence Roberts, Carlotta Walls LaNier, Minnijean Brown, Gloria Ray Karlmark, Thelma Mothershed, and Malba Pattillo Beals. Their enrollment was followed by the Little Rock Crisis.

What?

The Little Rock Crisis was when the African American students were initially prevented from entering the racially segregated school by Orval Faubus. The Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education declared and established that segregating schools was unconstitutional. With the desegregation of all the schools throughout the nation, black students were attempting to register in the "all-white" schools.

When?

In 1955, the Little Rock School Board started a plan of gradual integration into the schools, which would be set in motion during the fall of the 1957 school year. By 1957, nine black students were registered to attend the previously "all-white" school of Little Rock Central High; they were selected by their grades and attendance.

Interesting Facts

  • The enrollment of these students was the result of the Supreme Court ruling of Brown vs. Board Education
  • President Eisenhower sent in a troop of the United States Army to escort these nine teenagers into the school and deter the Arkansas National Guard from preventing these students from entering
  • Little Rock Central High School is still a part of the Little Rock School District. Now the school functions as a Civil Rights Museum

Legacy

  • Earnest Green was the first male African American student to graduate from Central High School. Later to graduate from Michigan State University. He later served as the Secretary of Housing and urban Affairs under Jimmy Carter
  • Elizabeth Eckford went to the Army as a journalist
  • Jefferson Thomas graduated from Central High School in 1960. He later became an accountant for the DOD