The Little Rock Nine Remember the First Day of Desegregation

Aired on 01/15/1996 | CC tv-pg
The Little Rock Nine were pioneers. As the first students to attend the previously all-white Little Rock Central High School, the group was ruthlessly attacked because of the color of their skin. What do they remember about the first day of desegregation?

"Well, it was—it was an atmosphere of hostility, of war," said Ernest Green, one of the seven members of the Little Rock Nine to appear on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 1996. "So you put on your armor, turn your face into your game face and got ready to go to war." Another student Melba Pattillo Beals added, "My mother and I almost got hanged that day. People with ropes circled underneath their arm and over their shoulder as they put it, 'Ready to do business.'"

Watch the video above as Ernest, Melba and Dr. Terrence Roberts reflect on their experiences.

Original airdate: January 15, 1996

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