Topics in Historical Study
Professor Eric Schoeck
One morning in Little Rock, Arkansas, nine of the most courageous young black teenagers woke up from their beds scared but determine to make a difference. They had no idea that not only would this decision they made to desegregate Central High would effect them, but also their families and communities. These teenagers knew that this was going to be a dangerous situation but not to the extent that it was. The Little Rock Nine began their trip to that all white segregated high school where they were faced with hatred, racism and death threats. The only thing that kept these teenagers from turning back was determination and their faith in God. On May 17, 1954 the Supreme Court rules that separate schools for whites are illegal, a ruling called Brown v. the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas. In 1955 Little Rock adopted a plan that they were going to let limited integration into Central High School, but it won’t actually happen until September 1957. During that year of 1955, teachers sent around sign up sheets for student who wanted to go to the all-white Central High School. Surprisingly many children signed up, but only seventeen were chosen based on their academics. The selection process had taken such a long time that the children who signed the list had actually forgotten, and didn’t remember until a news report came on listing all the children that had been selected. After the ridicule for their own families and death threats from white people eight had reneged and the nine students left now known as the “The Little Rock Nine” started their courageous battle. Several times in the few days before school is supposed to start, lawsuits are filed that threaten to stop the nine students. Governor Faubus declares that he is going to send the Arkansas National Guard to the high school, though he does not say whether they are there to protect the nine or to...