25th International Conference on Teaching and Learning
7: Sequel to the Little Rock Nine:
Professor John Taylor
On September 25, 2017 “The Little Rock Nine (now Eight)” will assemble again in Little Rock, Arkansas to celebrate 60 years after the historic day in civil rights history. FSCJ Professor, John Taylor, was there in 1957. Volumes 1 through 6 over the previous six conferences have told many stories of the historic year at Central in 1957-58 including Volume 6 the prequel to the 60 years leading up to this day when segregation barrier was finally broken across the 12 state South and five border states in the United States. On May 17 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the case of Brown v Board that the concept of “Separate but Equal” school segregation was unconstitutional. However, the justices used a four-word phrase that many believe delayed this process for over 50 years: “With All Deliberate Speed”.
On September 25, 2017 “The Little Rock Nine (now Eight)” will assemble again in Little Rock, Arkansas to celebrate 60 years after the historic day in civil rights history when nine African American children integrated the first all white high school, Little Rock Central High School. FSCJ Professor, John Taylor, was there in 1957 as a 16 year old junior. Volumes 1 through 6 over the previous six conferences have told many stories of the historic year at Central in 1957-58 and the following year, 1958-59 (The Lost Class of 59). Volume 6 was labeled the Prequil as it focused on the 60 years leading up to this day when segregation barrier was finally broken across the 12 state South and five border states in the United States through the historic Supreme Court decision in 1954: Brown v Board of Education.
For much of the sixty years preceding the Brown case, race relations in the U.S. had been dominated by racial segregation. This policy had been endorsed in 1896 by the United States Supreme Court case of Plessy v. Ferguson, which held that as long as the separate facilities for the separate races were equal, segregation did not violate the Fourteenth Amendment ("no State shall... deny to any person... the equal protection of the laws.").
One man, Thurgood Marshall, risked his life for over 20 years to fight for equal rights before the days of the civil rights icon such as Martin Luther King. He was the lead lawyer for the NAACP who argued the case in front of the Supreme Court. No one in the Negro community had to say his last name during the 1930s and 1940s, just “Thurgood” is coming. He was known as “Mr. Civil Rights”.
This presentation will start by playing in the presenter’s opinion the most powerful clip from Volume 6: Thurgood and the Dolls. Then a few video clips from 1957-58 and 1958-59 will review these two turmoil years in Little Rock witnessed by the presenter. But why was Integration token?
The main film for this presentation is the 2004 documentary “With All Deliberate Speed” which focus of those four words which allowed the Southern States to delay integration or allow only token integration for the nearly 20 years after Brown.
History ignored is history repeated. On May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the case of Brown Vs. Board of Education that the concept of "separate but equal" school segregation was unconstitutional. But in this landmark ruling, the Justices used a four-word phrase that many believe has delayed the process of change for over 50 years: "With All Deliberate Speed."
Direct Peter Gilbert (producer of Hoop Dreams and Stevie) explores the shocking history and legacy of the legal decision that tore our nation apart and still divides us today. Jeffrey Wright narrates this acclaimed documentary featuring stunning archive footage, powerful readings by Mekhi Phifer, Larenz Tate, Terry Kinney, and Alicia Keys, and revealing new interviews with the heroic men and women who fought - and still fight - the battle for racial equality in America.