The Little Rock Nine

“This is not a Southern problem anymore. This is a national problem.”

Photo Credit
Library of Congress

White segregationist demonstrators protesting at the admission of the Little Rock Nine, to Central High School, 1959. The Little Rock Nine was a group of nine African-American students enrolled in Little Rock Central High School in 1957. Their enrolment was followed by the Little Rock Crisis, in which the student was initially prevented from entering the racially segregated school by Orval Faubus, the Governor of Arkansas. They then attended after the intervention of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. (Photo by: Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

With the regulars removed from the entrance of Little Rock Central High, a group of white students forms a veritable barricade to hinder the entrance of the nine Negro students. The Negroes entered the school by a side door after seeing the congregation on the school’s main entrance steps. As the nine Negroes appeared, spontaneous jeers arose from the crowd. It was the second day the nine were attending classes under the protection of federalized Arkansas National Guardsmen.

A few weeks after the desegregation of Little Rock’s Central High School, only six of the nine African American students are escorted into the school, the other three reporting in sick. The following year Little Rock closed all of its public schools for a year.

(Photo by ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images)