LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Sixty-five years ago, Sunday, 9 black teenagers entered Central High School as it became on of the first schools in Little Rock to desegregate.
We know them as the Little Rock Nine.
“Central High School, Arkansas, in 57′, nine stood tall,” said one member of the Little Rock Nine, Minnijean Brown.
“Between the ages of 13 and 16 had a chance to try and change the world,” said Ernest Green.
Sunday marked the anniversary of the first day those nine teenagers attended their first full day at Central High School.
“Six girls and three boys,” said one member of the Little Rock Nine, Ernest Green.
“Lead the way in the face of history, they changed our fate,” stated Minnijean Brown.
Their actions, resulted in desegregation in Little Rock public schools.
Ernest Green said, “nine of us all took kind of the same internal oath that we thought we were doing the right thing by transferring to central”.
“Challenged a system, a non-violent fight,” said Brown.
After all those years, their names will be remembered forever.
“Changed the future, changed our nation,” stated Brown.
By having the street in front of the high school be re-named after them.
“It’s not every day I have streets named after me so ugh, that too is a big accomplishment,” said Green.
Minnijean Brown said, “we were harassed every day, inspiring, brave, we turned away, heads held high we walked the halls, and I walked like I belonged…oh yes like I belonged”.
Sunday, seven of the nine gave remarks about their experiences.
“Ordinary people can do extraordinary things, don’t be silent, don’t be afraid, you may be someone’s hope someday,” stated Brown.
They were joined by former President Bill Clinton.
Bill Clinton said, “here’s what I want you to ask yourself, what in God’s name were we thinking, denying these people the lives that they lived?”
“Here we are with president Bill Clinton, the Gov, the mayor, and I didn’t see any of that my first week at Central,” said Ernest Green.
Ernest Green shared about how he was the first black student to graduate from Central High School.
“There may be one other person in the world who MLK attended their graduation,” and “the recognition that I completed that year, made me feel that I did the right thing early on in the year and that high school was what it should be, the beginning, not the end,” stated Green.