Questions

What was the lawsuit that said segregation in schools was illegal?

How many black students enrolled in Central High School?

Why were many white people angry at the Little Rock Nine?

The Little Rock Nine

In 1896, the United States Supreme Court ruled that schools could be segregated. This meant that there could be schools for white children only and separate schools for black children. But, the schools for black children were not as good as the schools for white children. Some people thought this law was unfair and wrong.

If you want to change a law, you bring a lawsuit to the court.  That’s what happened in 1954.

The lawsuit was called Brown v. Board of Education. At that time, the judges on the Supreme Court were all white and all men.

This is Thurgood Marshall.  Thurgood was the lawyer for the African-Americans in the lawsuit. Thurgood told the nine white men why segregation in schools was wrong. The judges agreed with him. The Supreme Court said that segregation in schools is illegal.  Thurgood Marshall later became the first African-American justice to the Supreme Court.  

Even though the Supreme Court said it was illegal, many schools in the South would not allow black children to attend a white school.

This is Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. Black students could not attend Central High.

It was time for another protest. These nine African-American students enrolled in Central High School. That took courage! They were called the Little Rock Nine. What would happen?

In 1957, on their first day of school, the Little Rock Nine went to Central High School. How did they feel? How would you feel? They felt scared and nervous and brave all at the same time. When they got to school, angry people were yelling at them.  “Go Home! We don’t want you here!”

This is President Dwight Eisenhower. President Eisenhower saw what was happening. He sent the United States Army to protect the Little Rock Nine.

Soldiers surrounded the students to protect them from the angry crowd. One of the Little Rock Nine decided to leave Central High, but the other eight stayed.

Soldiers surrounded the students to protect them from the angry crowd. One of the Little Rock Nine decided to leave Central High, but the other eight stayed.

Today children of all colors can attend school together. We are lucky to get to know people who are different!  We may learn that others that may look different are not so different. 

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