Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Little Rock Central High School

Before we leave Little Rock we have to touch on the Civil Rights battle that raged here in 1957. It was then that the Federal Courts ordered that the High School start accepting Black students. Nine students enrolled but were blocked from entering the school by the Arkansas National Guard, ordered up by Governor Orval Faubus. Several days later President Eisenhower, at the request of the Little Rock Mayor, sent in Federal Troops to enforce integration and protect the nine students who had become known as the Little Rock Nine. On September 24, the President took control of the Arkansas National Guard away from the State and sent the 101st Division to Little Rock and the the next day, Wednesday, September 25, 1957, and under Federal escort, the students entered the school.

Here in her own words, one of the Black students describes her ordeal:

“They moved closer and closer ... Somebody started yelling ... I tried to see a friendly face somewhere in the crowd—someone who maybe could help. I looked into the face of an old woman and it seemed a kind face, but when I looked at her again, she spat on me.”

Here are photos taken during those trying days. Just look at the hatred in the faces of the white demonstrators! How can people hate so much simply on the basis of colour? Yesterday, by the way, was the anniversary of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. How far have we really come?

Little_Rock-Central_High_Schoollittlerock hs2littlerock hs1Little_Rock_Central_High 9little rock hs3


  1. How far? Well, there's a black man sitting in the oval office...

  2. Yes, but a new front has opened up in the battle. It is now Gays who face discrimination. It is the same fight!

    Nothing has changed.

  3. We visited Little Rock Central High a few years ago. When I look at those photos, I feel like weeping. I wonder if any of the folks in those pictures have been back, and have seen their faces? What are they like now? Have they changed? Grown? Are they shocked to see their hatred so visible?

    Odel and I are able to stand there, together, married - looking at photos of people who would be (or would have been, or perhaps still are) appalled by our marriage. Yes, now gays face that same discrimination.

    I will never understand why some folks are so angered by love and commitment that doesn't conform to their narrow definition. I have to laugh every time a hetero expresses the opinion that legalizing gay marriage will "harm the institution of marriage" between one man and one woman. With a 50% divorce rate and prevalence of adultrey, what is left to harm??

  4. That was my question as well Laurie. Where are those people now and what do they think? Are they ashamed? Have they accepted gays?

    We met a very nice American couple in Mexico. One is white and one Black and they lived in Louisiana. what makes them different from you and Odel is that they are both gay men. They grew tired of the treatment they were getting in the USA and moved to Mexico where they are treated well and are happy.

    John and Ken, if you are still watching.... Big Hi!!