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The members of Little Rock Nine honor Central High School’s 66 years of desegregation



Little Rock, Arkansas – On Sept. 25, 1957, under the escort of federal troops, nine African-American students changed history by becoming the first to integrate into Little Rock’s Central High School.

On the 66th anniversary of that day, city, school, and the National Park Service officials held multiple events to commemorate that historic moment.

During one of the events, members of the Little Rock Nine candidly spoke with 1,200 high school students from the graduating class of 2024.

According to one of the members, Dr. Terrence Roberts, some of the issues they were facing when they integrated Central High School continue in the present day.

Whether it be 1957 or 2023, we have to sift through what we got to find out if there’s truth in it, if there isn’t any truth in it throw it away,” Roberts said. “Unfortunately, there are too many people in this country today who are content to feed on fictional narratives.”

Several seniors in high school had the chance to express their opinions about the LEARNS Act, how media attention changed the trajectory of the civil rights movement, and the recent elimination of the AP African-American studies course.

Superintendent Robin White of the Little Rock Central High School Historic Site thinks that in order to create a better future, students want to learn about particular historical events in the classroom.

It is our responsibility to prepare them to sit at the decision-making table correct? That’s our responsibility,” White said. “We cannot do that if we fail to equip them with all American history, not just one-sided.”

According to White, the historic site is now a therapeutic environment.

This is all about experiencing growth, evolution, transformation, and reflection about where do we go from here,” she said.

As per White’s assertion, high school pupils aspire to be the leaders of tomorrow. She claimed that throughout their interaction with the Little Rock Nine, they asked the group for advice on how to move forward in an effort to better society.

Minniejean Brown, one of the Little Rock Nine, gave some words of wisdom to seniors in high school.

The moral of my story is that we’ve all got that capability when the courage is needed it will rise up within us,” Brown said.

According to White, the Little Rock Central High Historic Site saw 180,000 visits annually on average prior to the pandemic.

Former Central High School student and Republican governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders did not attend any of the Monday’s activities.

Frank Scott Jr., the mayor of Little Rock, declared September 25 to be Little Rock Nine Day.

To honor the group’s legacy, the Clinton School of Public Service will begin a Little Rock Nine scholarship endowment drive.


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