Little Rock: 50 Years Later

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The wave of desegregation that transformed the South in the 1960s began in Little Rock, Arkansas, in September 1957. Nine African-American students were initially prevented from entering the racially segregated Little Rock Central High School; after President Dwight Eisenhower intervened, they were later allowed into the school. Contributing editor to Vanity Fair David Margolick spoke with Elizabeth Eckford, one of the Little Rock Nine, about being immortalized in the now iconic photo from 1957.

Visit Vanity Fair to read David Margolick’s article, “Through a Lens, Darkly," a web exclusive


David Margolick

Comments [2]

virginia tryon Smilack from Succasunna, NJ 07876

The first integration of a public school occured in 1952 and was the cornerstone of the Brown V. Board case. In 1952, Claymont High School (Claymont, Del.) was the first public high school to integrate (Belton v. Gebhart) and despite Seitz's ruling in favor of integration the school defied State Attorney Young and the State Board of Education in order to enroll the black children (9/3/52 and to again to keep them there (9/4/52). This all happened peacefully and therefore has not been widely recognized. In 1954 Redbook mag. wrote an article on "The Schools that Broke the Color Line" and the Chicago Tribune created a brochure about how integration could work citing Claymont High School and mailed it throughout the United States and in Europe. Earl Warren, in Dec. 1953, was amazed when Thurgood Marshall who argued the Delaware cases (with Jack Greenberg) at the Brown v. Board level said that the Claymont was already peacefully integrated and this influenced his decision on the Brown case.

I am working on getting this information recognized and have held a couple commemorations, a poster display has been circulated by the African American Heritage Musuem of Southern Jersey and a half hour program was aired on Atantic City TV. There are a couple of the original integrating students of 1952 who are willing to speak at events.

I think a program on WYNC should be produced about the first public school to integrate.

Oct. 03 2007 11:35 AM
Toni C. from New York

This is such a sad story. Thank you for giving your audience the chance to hear about the mental & social devastation so many people of African descent suffered from because of the unwarranted hatred, racism and harrassment that was heaped upon them.

Oct. 02 2007 12:22 PM

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