the power of nine

the power of nine

In 1957, following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that segregated schools were unconstitutional, nine students seeking an equal education in the racially divided South would overcome barriers and inspire students for generations to come.

After the historic Brown v. Board of Education ruling in 1954, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People began registering exceptional black students in previously all-white school systems to begin the gradual process of desegregation. In the fall of 1957, nine students – Melba Pattillo Beals, Gloria Ray Karlmark, Ernest Green, Thelma Mothershed, Carlotta Walls LaNier, Minnijean Brown, Elizabeth Eckford, Jefferson Thomas and Terrence Roberts – were set to begin classes at Little Rock Central High School.

When segregationist groups learned that African American students were about to integrate the exclusively white school system, they called on then-Governor Orval Faubus to take action. On Sept. 4, 1957, Faubus deployed the National Guard to keep the black students from entering. The students were not allowed to enter the school until President Dwight D. Eisenhower intervened and ordered the 101st Airborne Division of the U.S. Army to escort them. For the remainder of the year, each student was assigned their own escort to ensure their safety.

Although free from actual physical danger, the students had to endure verbal taunts and threats.

Those nine students would later become journalists, psychologists and authors. At the time, they had no idea that their actions would make them international heroes, as well as land them in American history books to inspire the students of today. – adam jones

Read more about:

Also read

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 11: Kanye West performs during Kanye West Yeezy Season 3 on February 11, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Yeezy Season 3)
Kanye West Terminates Yeezy’s Partnership To Make Fashion Affordable
TikToker uses blackface to mock Halle Bailey's movie trailer (video)
Why Mack Wilds says Black men need exercise; reveals Druski's acting potential
candace owen
Candace Owens blasts the Kardashians regarding sex tape controversy (video)
INDIO, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 24: Tyga performs with Doja Cat on the Coachella stage during the 2022 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival on April 24, 2022 in Indio, California. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images for Coachella)
Rapper Tyga Sued For A Breach Of Contract 
Ray Charles Jr. continues to find creative ways to keep his father's legacy alive. Photo courtesy of Ray Charles Jr. 
Ray Charles Jr. Pays Tribute To His Father And Those Impacted By 9/11 

Watch this video

What's new

SZA Attends Mastercard Celebrates the Start Something Priceless Campaign
SZA bought out entire threater for 'The Woman King'
Ime Udoka's mistress handled Nia Long's travel arrangements
Halle Bailey's beau DDG thought racism was over before 'Little Mermaid' (video)