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Table of Contents
See the fact file below for more information on Little Rock Nine Crisis or alternatively, you can download our comprehensive worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
- Segregation of schools was ruled as legal by the U.S. Supreme Court during the Plessy v. Ferguson case in 1896. Therefore, schools for whites (Americans) was different from blacks or colored (African-Americans). Racial segregation in schools also meant differentiation in school facilities and curriculum as supported by
Jim Crow laws.
- They implemented the “separate but equal” doctrine that made it valid under the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.
- In 1954, the lawsuit Brown v. Board of Education was filed. Thurgood Marshall represented African-Americans in the fight for desegregation of public schools. In the same year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that racial segregation in public schools was unconstitutional.
- Chief Justice Earl Warren specifically summed up that separate school facilities were inherently unequal.
- Despite the decision of the higher court, some southern states did not desegregate schools and refused to admit African-American students.
prohibited integration of white and colored students. Gradually, some states started to desegregate to comply with the ruling of the Supreme Court.
- Southern states such as Arkansas, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia prohibited integration of white and colored students. Gradually, some states started to desegregate to comply with the ruling of the Supreme Court.
Little Rock Nine Crisis:
- Arkansas refused to obey the court’s decision and continued to reject black students from entering an all-white school.
- Five days after the ruling of the Supreme Court, the Little Rock School Board in Arkansas owed to comply. From 1953 until 1958, Virgil T. Blossom served as the superintendent of the Little Rock School District. He developed a plan that would gradually implement integration despite opposition by Orval Faubus, Arkansas’ governor.
- The six years gradual implementation was called the Blossom Plan that aimed to initially integrate high school students followed by lower grades.
- On August 27, 1957, segregationist Mother’s League of Central High School initiated its first public meeting to postpone the implementation of integration.
- On August 29, Murray O. Reed, Pulaski County chancellor, granted the injunction for the reason of possible violence.
- A day after, Federal Judge Ronald Davies order desegregation after nullifying the injunction approved by Reed.
- On September 4, 1957, Arkansas governor Orval Faubus ordered the Arkansas National Guard to surround Central High School. They were joined by white protesters in order to delay the Blossom Plan of integration.
- Daisy Bates, journalist and local leader of the NAACP in Arkansas, recruited nine African-American students for the integration at Little Rock Central High School.
- The African-American students were Ernest Green, Carlotta Walls, Thelma Mothershed, Elizabeth Eckford, Terrace Roberts, Gloria Ray, Jefferson Thomas, Melba Pattillo, and Minnijean Brown.
- On their first day, guards were blocking their way while white protesters were yelling at them. Elizabeth Eckford walked to school alone and experienced harassment. The incident was caught on camera and became known as ‘the scream image.’
- On September 20, Judge Davies ordered the removal of the guards and police take over to maintain peace.
- Four days later, President Dwight Eisenhower sent 1,200 paratroopers from the U.S. Army division in Kentucky. On September 25, the Little Rock Nine were escorted by the troops and attended their first full day of classes.
- Governor Faubus insisted the removal of the Little Rock Nine and pressed several charges over the course of the year.
- The troops sent by Eisenhower and the National Guard surrounded the Little Rock Central High School for the rest of the year.
- Members of the Little Rock Nine experienced harassment inside the school. Melba Pattillo was kicked and beaten. Gloria Ray was pushed down the stairs. In addition, an
- African-American effigy was burnt in the school grounds. Moreover, the Little Rock Nine were banned from joining extracurricular activities.
- Upon retaliation from the attacks, Minnijean Brown was expelled in 1958, while Gloria Ray’s mother was fired from her job as she refused to remove her daughter from Central High School.
- On May 25, 1958, Ernest Green became the first African-American to graduate from Central High School. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., leader of the civil rights movement attended the ceremony.
- Eight of the Little Rock Nine completed their high school education in other schools in the country.
- Later in September, due to public voting initiated by the Arkansas governor, all public schools in Little Rock were closed. Governor Faubus stated that it was better to close all schools instead of integration. Many people blamed the Little Rock Nine for missing a school year.
After the Little Rock Nine Crisis:
- In December 1959, the Supreme Court ordered the reopening of all schools and enforcement of desegregation.
- Despite the violence against African-American students, they continued to attend Central High School.
- Ernest Green served as assistant secretary of the Department of Labor during President Jimmy Carter’s term. Minnijean Brown became the deputy assistant secretary of the
- Department of Interior under President Bill Clinton. Melba Pattillo found her career as a reporter for NBC News. Jefferson Thomas served in the U.S. Army during the
- Vietnam War and at the Pentagon. Terrace Roberts earned his Ph.D and worked as a professor at UCLA.
- In 1999, President Bill Clinton honored their contribution in desegregating schools with the Congressional Gold Medal.
Little Rock Nine Crisis Worksheets
This bundle includes 11 ready-to-use Little Rock Nine Crisis worksheets that are perfect for students to learn about The Little Rock Nine Crisis which On September 4, 1957, Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus refused to admit nine African-American students to the all-white Little Rock Central High School. The governor did not follow the 1954 decision over the Brown v. Board of Education stating that segregation in public schools was unconstitutional.
This download includes the following worksheets:
- Little Rock Nine Crisis Facts
- The Little Rock Nine
- Trailing Crisis
- Famous People
- Mapping School Segregation
- One to Nine
- Scream Image
- Little Rock Nine
- Civil Rights Movement
- Picture Wall
- Education For All
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Link will appear as Little Rock Nine Crisis Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, January 27, 2021
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