Brave hearts: the little Rock Nine

Black students had to be escorted by US Army soldiers so that they could study at the Little Rock Institute (Wikipedia)

Nine black students challenged the racist authorities in Arkansas to study

In 1954, the US Supreme Court declared that racial segregation in schools was unconstitutional. However, many schools ignored the law and continued to refuse to let black students in, especially in cities in the south.

Three years later, nine black students from Little Rock (Arkansas), challenged racist authorities and signed up at the city’s public high school.

On the first day of the school, the governor of Arkansas sent National Guard troops to prevent these students from entering, but had to withdraw because it was against the law to do so. Finally, the students managed to get in between boos and shouts from the white students.

When the white population of Little Rock heard that there were black students in the school, hundreds of people stood in front of the center to insult and threaten them. The nine boys had to escape in secret to protect themselves and did not go to school on the next day.

There was great tension in the city, with the white and black population confronted and hundreds of agents deployed to prevent further disturbances.

US President himself, Dwight Eisenhower, took action immediately and sent 1,000 US soldiers to Little Rock High School to control the racist crowds and ensure that the nine black students could safely attend class.

Three weeks later, the nine students, six girls and three boys, were able to go back to school.

They kept being insulted by their white classmates, still they didn’t give up and managed to graduate the following year. Troops needed to guard the school premises for the full school year.

At the entrance to the Little Rock High School there is a memorial that represents the brave nine. (Wikipedia)

Today, the school is now a museum to remember this important chapter in the fight for racial equality.

Translated by Chaplin’s Languages | Find out more in Junior Report

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