Little Rock Nine Reflect on Necessary Progress

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Rounds of applause greeted the eight surviving members of the Little Rock Nine as they entered the room Friday.

"For us to get together, 60 years, is an amazing feat, and I think that deserves a round of applause in itself,” Ernest Green said.

 

Despite 60 years of interviews and press conferences, the group spent an hour answering questions about that historic day at Central High School in 1957.

 

They also spoke about 2017.

 

Dr. Terrance Roberts hesitated to use the word ‘progress.’

 

"So, I think a more apt question would be, when are we going to acknowledge that we still have a tremendous amount of work to do rather than focus on the concept of progress?” he said.

 

A question about recent events sparked comparison between present day and what the group experienced six decades ago.

 

"Anything that seems similar to you?" an audience member asked. 

 

"The election of President Trump," Brown Trickey said. 

 

Aside from the election, for Minnijean Brown Trickey another recent event stands out to her.

 

"Charlottesville. That triggered me so much,” she said.

 

"The mindless mob action, just touched me, and I thought, 'this is 60 years later!'"

 

For the Little Rock Nine, it's the 60th anniversary of change, although some challenges remain.

 

"We're still discussing this question that was discussed 60 years ago. And, that annoys me. But, I never let annoyances take me down. I just smile and say, 'Get them gloves out baby. Pass them on,” Dr. Melba Patillo Beals said.

 

 


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