The Albin O. Kuhn Library Special Collections recently digitized 66
photographs of the Little Rock Nine, the first African American students to
attend an integrated school in largely segregated
Arkansas. When the students enrolled at Little Rock Central High School in September, 1957, Arkansas
Governor Orval Faubus deployed the Arkansas National Guard to deny their
admission. Shortly thereafter, President Dwight D. Eisenhower federalized the
Guard and required them to facilitate the students’ entry. While attending the
school, the Little Rock Nine were subjected to discrimination, harassment, and
violence because of their race. Several students wrote books about their
experiences, and in 1995, President Bill Clinton awarded the Little Rock Nine
with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
The Little Rock Nine photographs were taken by Mildred
Grossman, a noted teacher, unionist, and civil rights activist. Grossman’s
photographs focus on the students' trip to New York City in the summer of 1958,
where they accepted the New York Hotel Trades Council’s Better Race Relations
Award for their courage and historic achievements. The students also met with
elected officials, diplomats, and entertainers, and visited landmarks such as
the Statue of Liberty and the Coney Island amusement parks.
View the Little Rock Nine collection via the
Collections page and in the Special
Collections reading room. The Little Rock Nine photographs are a small part of
the Mildred Grossman collection, which contains thousands of Grossman’s
photographic prints, negatives, and personal papers.
Take a look at the collection when you can and tell us what you