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Peter

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 8 months ago

September 4, 1957-"Ernest, get down here right now! You don't want to be late for your first day in that fancy white high school!" Mama yelled. "Okay I'm coming!" I yelled back. I was transferring to Central High School to complete my senior year. I finished buttoning up my shirt and I ran downstairs. As Mama and I walked outside, Dad was waiting for us in the Roadster. I was going to enroll in Central High School along with eight other African-American students. When we got close to the school, a mob of white folks surrounded the car, screaming things like, "Go home you dirty n*****! You don't belong here!" Their words didn't get to me, but when I looked over at Mama, she was praying. When we pulled up to the drive, the other eight students were in a small group in front of the school. I think their names were Terrence Roberts, Minnijean Brown, Elizabeth Eckford, Thelma Mothershed, Melba Pattillo, Gloria Ray, Jefferson Thomas, and Carlotto Walls. "They won't let us in!" a girl I thought to be a senior exclaimed. She was right. Surrounding the school were the Arkansas National Guard. When I tried to enter, they turned me away. I was shocked. "Why aren't you letting me in?" I asked one of the guards. "Orders of the governor, Orval Faubus, of the state of Arkansas." the guard said. I tried asking another guard. Same answer. "What do we do now?" I asked Mama. "Come Ernest. Let's go on home." she said. "It's not fair!" I yelled. "Listen to your mama you n*****!" a man said. That was the last straw. I lunged at him, but Dad held me back. "It's not worth it Ernest. They're no better than you," he told me. I decided just to forget it. It seemed like the whole city if Little Rock was there to stop us from going in. The guards were there on orders of Governor Faubus, so I guess he's against us, too.

http://www.cnn.com/US/9709/24/little.rock/little.rock.mov

September 23, 1957-We got to Central High, and we got in! To avoid violence, we went in through the back entrance. But as soon as the mob learned we were inside, they went balistic and came in after us. Luckily, we got out before they could hurt us. I guess the support of the government, some northern reporters, and a few white liberalists didn't keep us in for a whole day.

September 24, 1957-I heard that some men frome the 101st Airborne are here by the orders of President Eisenhower to escort us to Central High. Four days ago, Governor Faubus was ordered to remove the Arkansas National Guard. They said that they will be here until November. After that, we're on our own.

September 25, 1957-Today we finished a whole day of school! Every one of us had our own patroller from the 101st. Except it was like the mob didn't care that we were protected by them! They still attacked us as usual. We were almost inside when I heard a guy from the mob scream " Take this you c***!" Then the guy stabbed a girl named Melba Patillo and he sprayed her eyes with acid. Luckily, her patroller tossed water over her eyes, saving her from permanent blindness.

February 17, 1958-Things are getting pretty bad here at school. Minnijean Brown got expelled today! She has had it coming, though. She dumped her lunch on two white boys for making fun of her and she called a white girl "White Trash".

May 25, 1958-Today I made history! I am the first black student to graduate from Central High!!! Through all the mobs and taunting, I did it!

June 18,1958-Someone told me today that this event divided the city of Little Rock into two groups: White racists and the African-American community, some northern reporters, and a few white liberalists. The racists started calling the liberalists communists.

 

 

Epilogue

 


Ernest Green went on to graduate from Michigan State University. After that, he became Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Affairs for President Jimmy Carter. He is now a vice president and managing partner Lehman Brothers in Washington D.C.

The group of African-Americans that integrated Central High School on that historic day in 1957 were later named the Little Rock Nine. The Little Rock Nine was the first successful integration of a public place in the Civil Rights Movement. In 1998, the United States Congress named Central High School a national historic sight.

 

 

The End

Comments (1)

Anonymous said

at 5:22 pm on Mar 29, 2007

epilouge...nice

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