Emily's Reviews > A Mighty Long Way: My Journey to Justice at Little Rock Central High School
A Mighty Long Way: My Journey to Justice at Little Rock Central High School
If I were a high school history teacher, all my students would read this book. Lanier was the youngest of the Little Rock Nine—the nine black kids who went to Central high school after it was forcibly integrated. As a high-achieving, captain of this, queen of that 8th grader, when she heard that Central was opening to black kids, signing up was a no-brainer: it was a much better school, with much nicer equipment and labs, and it was closer to her house than the all-black-by-default high school. She had no idea what was coming. When she showed up to Central the first day, the National Guard was there—to keep the Nine safe, she thought, because crowds were jeering and spitting at them—but the state governor had actually called out the Guard to prevent the black kids from entering (it was the President who integrated the school, not the governor). The Nine were not allowed to participate in any sports or extracurriculars, a shock to the usually-involved-in-everything Carlotta. Many of the Nine didn’t return to Central after the first year. Carlotta, the youngest, entering as a freshman, survived all four years and was the first black female graduate of the school. Fantastic and eye-opening, with a forward by Bill Clinton.
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