Open Access Presidential Scholars Thesis
The sun beat down on fields of puffy white clouds as glistening backs reaped the new harvest. At the end of the long, grueling day, the people known as slaves returned to their cabins to sleep until the early morning call once again beckoned them to the fields. As the white owners spent their evenings reading books, writing letters, updating the accounts, the people they owned may have sung or told stories, but they did not read. They did not write, and they did not update any accounts. They did not show any sign of education. To be educated and to be black, in the South before the Civil War, equaled punishment: even death.
Nearly one hundred years after the Emancipation Proclamation, the scene in the South had changed, but not drastically. The members of the black race were allowed an education, yet they were still treated as inferiors to the white race. Segregation dominated the South, and that included the schools. The white students received the newest buildings, books, equipment, buses, and anything else that was new. On the other hand, the black students attended older schools with older books, equipment, and older buses, if indeed they even had them. These years of segregation and inequality set the stage in the city of Little Rock, Arkansas in the late 1950's for one of the major events in the history of the Civil Rights movement. The events that unfolded around Central High School in the years of 1957 to 1959 critically affected the view of segregation in the United States. In the end, the walls of segregation could not withstand the right of nine black students to obtain an education.
Date of Award
Department of History
Presidential Scholar Designation
A paper submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation Presidential Scholar
1 PDF file (28 pages)
©2017 Stacey Noble
Noble, Stacey, "A look at the Little Rock Nine" (2004). Presidential Scholars Theses (1990 – 2006). 23.