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 UMBC's Digital 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 think: http://contentdm.ad.umbc.edu/cdm/landingpage/collection/p16629coll3