Little Rock: Race and Resistance at Central High School

By Karen Anderson | Go to book overview

CONCLUSIONS
Little Rock and the Legacies of
Brown v. Board of Education

Together we look to the time when the citizens of this land
will erase the shame of Little Rock, when the Constitution
of the United States will embrace every man regardless of
his color, when brotherhood will be more than a mere topic
for an annual church sermon.

—Daisy Bates1

Decades after the admission of African American students to Central High, black students and teachers who had been involved in the crisis over desegregation expressed disaffection with the poor quality of education African American children still received in Little Rock and the nation. In August 1987, Daisy Bates wrote to Elizabeth Huckaby that she was “truly unhappy about the condition of the Little Rock schools.” She expressed her surprise and disappointment that school officials had yet to commit to “the quality of education for all children.” In a 1987 interview Elizabeth Eckford wondered “What good does it do to desegregate the schools if they're only going to serve one or two classes of people?” Minnijean Brown Trickey worried in 1979 that desegregation had left too many blacks behind and had eroded the cultural traditions and strengths important for viable communities: “Were the changes that I helped bring about in the South all good for the blacks? Perhaps we blacks did lose something with integration, something of our traditions and culture. I don't know.” Little Rock's black schools, which taught African American history, had nurtured in some students a sense of possibility and a culture of dissent from the ruling political and social system.2

As the reflections of these individuals suggest, the legacy of the Brown decision is contradictory. Some scholars note that the courage and moral

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