Learn about the Little Rock 9 from one of its history-making members
Dr. Terrence Roberts was one of the Little Rock Nine. He was just 15-years-old when he became part of one of the most important civil rights events in the 21st century. On Tuesday, February 12, the Suffolk University Black Law Student Association, the Women of Color Student Association, and Fidelity are hosting Little Rock Nine: A Discussion with Terrence Roberts (Law School 1st Floor Function Room, 4 to 6 p.m).
The Historical Backdrop
Brown v. Board of Education was a watershed 1954 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. In the landmark 9-0 decision, the Court held that segregating students based on race deprived them from the equal protection guarantees of the 14th amendment. Brown v. Board of Education is considered one of the most important cases for equality in American history.
A searing event for the nation—and a 15 year old
Even though Brown v. Board of Education had passed into law and banned racial segregation in schools, it was violently opposed in some cities and towns. Little Rock, Arkansas, was one of those places. On Sept. 25, 1957, a volatile crowd surrounded Central High in Little Rock as nine black students attempted to go to school. Escorted by the 101st Airborne, they overcame the hostility against them and stood up for equality. And from that point on, this courageous group came to be known as the Little Rock Nine.
Congressional Gold Medal Winner
After his junior year at Central High, Roberts moved to Los Angeles. He would ultimately earn a B.A. in sociology from California State University at Los Angeles, an M.S. in social welfare from UCLA, and a Ph.D. from Southern Illinois University in psychology. These days Dr. Roberts, who has received both the Spingarn Medal and the Congressional Gold Medal, is a practicing psychologist, motivational speaker, and CEO of the consulting firm Terrence J. Roberts & Associates.