Author Carlotta Walls LaNier, a participant in one of the most well-known and significant civil rights battles for equal education in the United States will recount her experiences on October 22 at 8 pm in the Hodson Auditorium in Rosenstock Hall at Hood College. Her talk is based on her moving autobiography A Mighty Long Way: My Journey to Justice at Little Rock Central High School, Hood’s 2014 choice for the First-Year Read program. This eyewitness account chronicles her participation in one of the most infamous and significant civil rights battles for equal education in the United States. Fourteen-year old Carlotta Walls was the youngest of the “Little Rock Nine” who enrolled in the racially segregated Little Rock Central High School in 1957. Resistance to integration in Arkansas was so great that President Eisenhower had to send U.S. troops to protect the nine black students from the angry white mobs that followed them to school on their first days. This was just the beginning of LaNier’s traumatic journey. During her time at Central High, she endured daily harassment and ostracizing from white students and the mysterious bombing of her family’s home. LaNier’s talk will reflect upon her role in this struggle for social change in the late 1950s and discuss how the legacy of the Little Rock Nine lives on today. A Q&A session and book signing follow the talk.
LaNier and the other members of the Little Rock Nine received the Congressional Gold Medal in 1999. A U.S. postage stamp (December 2005) and commemorative silver dollar (2007) also were made in their honor.
This lecture is made possible by the Hanson Lecture Series through the Foundation for Enhancing Communities.