The Little Rock Nine: Courage, Desegregation, and Civil Rights

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 551 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Sep 12, 2023

Words: 551|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Sep 12, 2023

Table of contents

  1. Historical Context
  2. Bravery in the Face of Adversity
  3. The Intervention of President Eisenhower
  4. Legacy and Impact
  5. Conclusion

The Little Rock Nine is a pivotal chapter in the history of the civil rights movement in the United States. This critical essay explores the significance of the Little Rock Nine, their courageous actions, and the broader implications for the struggle against racial segregation and discrimination in America.

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Historical Context

In 1954, the United States Supreme Court delivered a landmark decision in the case of Brown v. Board of Education, declaring that racial segregation in public schools was unconstitutional. However, the ruling faced significant resistance in the South, where "Jim Crow" laws enforced racial segregation in schools and other public facilities.

The Little Rock Nine refers to a group of nine African American students who were at the forefront of the battle to desegregate Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. In 1957, three years after the Brown v. Board of Education decision, these students attempted to enroll in the previously all-white Central High School.

Bravery in the Face of Adversity

The Little Rock Nine were met with vehement opposition from segregationist forces, including Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus, who deployed the Arkansas National Guard to block their entry into the school. This standoff led to a constitutional crisis, known as the Little Rock Crisis, which garnered national and international attention.

Despite the threats, harassment, and violence directed at them, the Little Rock Nine displayed incredible courage and resilience. They faced jeering mobs, racial slurs, and physical intimidation as they attempted to attend classes. Their steadfast determination and commitment to their education and civil rights inspired many across the nation.

The Intervention of President Eisenhower

In response to the crisis, President Dwight D. Eisenhower took decisive action. He federalized the Arkansas National Guard, ensuring that they would no longer obstruct the students' entry. Additionally, he ordered the deployment of the 101st Airborne Division to escort the Little Rock Nine into Central High School, effectively enforcing the desegregation ruling.

President Eisenhower's intervention demonstrated the federal government's commitment to upholding the principles of the Brown v. Board of Education decision and signaled that defiance of desegregation orders would not be tolerated.

Legacy and Impact

The actions of the Little Rock Nine had far-reaching consequences. Their bravery and the federal government's intervention marked a significant step forward in the struggle for civil rights and desegregation in the United States. Their experiences shed light on the harsh realities of racial discrimination and segregation, prompting national conversations about the need for change.

The Little Rock Nine's legacy extends beyond their individual experiences. Their courage and determination served as an inspiration to countless others in the civil rights movement. Their actions helped pave the way for further desegregation efforts in education and beyond, contributing to the dismantling of Jim Crow laws and the broader fight for racial equality.


The Little Rock Nine's journey to desegregate Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, is a testament to the power of courage and determination in the face of injustice. Their actions were instrumental in advancing the cause of civil rights in the United States, and their legacy continues to inspire and inform the ongoing struggle for racial equality.

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The Little Rock Nine's story serves as a reminder of the sacrifices made by those who fought for civil rights, as well as a testament to the progress that can be achieved when individuals and the federal government work together to dismantle systemic discrimination and segregation.

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

The Little Rock Nine: Courage, Desegregation, and Civil Rights. (2023, September 12). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 19, 2024, from
“The Little Rock Nine: Courage, Desegregation, and Civil Rights.” GradesFixer, 12 Sept. 2023,
The Little Rock Nine: Courage, Desegregation, and Civil Rights. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 19 Jun. 2024].
The Little Rock Nine: Courage, Desegregation, and Civil Rights [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2023 Sept 12 [cited 2024 Jun 19]. Available from:
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