Remembering Forgotten Civil Rights Heroes

The history books that we read as schoolchildren would have had us to think that icons like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks have been the only civil rights heroes of any consequence.

Even so, there have been countless names and faces that gave their life or sense of safety so that later generations of Americans could truly reside free of charge and equal lives.

The Tiny Rock Nine, who integrated Central Higher College in 1957, were true civil rights heroes who put their lives on the line on a every day basis so that youngsters of all colors could advantage from a quality education in what ever college they chose to attend.

On Sept. 5, we lost Jefferson Thomas, 67, one particular of the iconic students that stood proudly against the bigotry of segregation, to pancreatic cancer. Though the struggles of these nine students in no way went unnoticed in the history books, I typically really feel that we overlook all of what they endured just so we can enjoy the freedoms that we continuously take for granted.

“Even at such a young age, (Thomas) had the courage to threat his own security, to defy a governor and a mob, and to walk proudly into that college even even though it would have been far easier to give up and turn back,” mentioned President Barack Obama in a written statement on Sept. 6. “Our nation owes Mr. Thomas a debt of gratitude for the stand he took half a century ago, and the leadership he showed in the decades considering that.”

When one particular appears back at their teenage years and their experiences in high school, they typically reminisce about football games, their first severe connection and going via the growing pains of life on their way to adulthood.

We typically sit back and feel of those socially awkward years which incorporated overzealous parents and laugh at how we thought it was the finish of the planet if our parents wanted us at residence by a midnight curfew. And although some dealt with more serious problems like broken homes, abuse and drug and alcohol addiction even though in higher college, very couple of had to deal with the weight of the planet being placed upon their shoulders, even though the nation was prepared to kill you just to preserve you from attending a White high college.

What Thomas, Carlotta Walls, Melba Patillo, Minnijean Brown, Elizabeth Eckford, Ernest Green, Gloria Ray, Terrence Roberts and Thelma Mothershed endured genuinely created them civil rights heroes whose stories must not vanish more than time.

After Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, Tiny Rock Central Higher School was one of the first schools to try to enforce integration in spite of explosive protest from many White residents. Whilst trying to enter the school, former Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus instructed National Guard members to not allow any of the nine Black students’ entry.

With the help of President Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Army’s 101st Airborne Division, the Small Rock Nine ultimately entered the college, but essential escorts from the soldiers for the remainder of the college year. Nevertheless, they nonetheless endured physical abuse from classmates and mental abuse from faculty throughout the 1957-58 academic year.

In spite of the discrimination that these civil rights heroes endured, their perseverance by means of the storm is what they are most remembered for. And simply because of the storms that these civil rights heroes withstood, this country is in a position to enjoy the vibrant days that we appear to take for granted often.

Like several, when I was a student I would sometimes complain about the battles I had to overcome or the school books that I did not think related to my life at the time. But if we take the time to honor these icons that flood our history books, then perhaps we will by no means overlook the civil rights heroes that made all of our accomplishments (past, present and future) attainable.

Todd A. Smith is publisher for Regal Black Mens Magazine The publication focuses on African American Neighborhood News Politics Sports Overall health The magazine features a Local On the web Classifieds &amp Job Classified Black Business Directory Pay a visit to to read about civil rights heroes

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