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Brittany Stidham
Mr. Chris Routt
American Studies
28 April 2015
Fighting the Equality Battle
From the end of slavery through the 1960s, there has been discrimination throughout the community, this is because even though it was supposed to be “Separate but Equal”, whites felt they were superior to blacks. Desegregation in the community during this time was harsh, especially for the black population. In schools, black and white children were separated, which gave the black children the idea that they were inferior to the white children, like with Ruby
Bridges, and the Little Rock Nine. Another way blacks were segregated from the white population was in churches, the hatred toward black churches was absurd, an example is the 16th
Street Baptist Bombing, and a section from
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. A changing time for desegregation in schools, is on November 14, 1960, when Ruby
Bridges first walked into William Frantz Elementary School. Ruby was 6 years old when she was escorted into her new school by Federal Marshals. Ruby was one of many black children in
New Orleans who were selected to take a test to see whether or not she could attend a white school or not. They designed the test to be pretty difficult so that the black children would have a hard time passing it. Ruby’s father was resistant to the idea of her taking the test, but her mother believed in Ruby and wanted her to have a better education so she talked her father into believing in her too. She was the only one out of six black children to pass the test. On Ruby’s first day at school, there were large crowds of people yelling and throwing objects at her. Since

she was only six, she did not know any better, but to think that all the people were celebrating
Mardi Gras. Ruby spend her whole first day of school, in the principal's office, this is because white parents refused to bring their children to school while she was there, and also the teachers refused to teach if she was in their classroom. Ruby had to be extremely careful while she was at school, once one of the Federal Marshal’s told her that she should start bringing lunches from home because one of the lunch ladies were going to try and poison her. Also, one day Ruby was walking into school and she was “greeted” by a woman who was showing Ruby a black doll in a wooden coffin.
Another milestone for the integration in schools, is the Little Rock Nine. The Little Rock
Nine are nine black teenagers, Minnijean Brown, Terrance Roberts, Elizabeth Eckford, Ernest
Green, Theima Mothershed, Melba Patillo, Gloria Ray, Jefferson Tomas, and Carlotta Walls, who went to Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. Theses students were recruited by
Daisy Bates, the president of the Arkansas Branch of the NAACP, by testing their intelligence and seeing if they were quiet and collected. Their first day of classes on September 4th, 1957, the governor Orval Faubus of Arkansas called in the National Guard to keep the black students from entering the school. Later on in the month, President Dwight D. Eisenhower had federal troops come and escort the Little Rock Nine into the school on September 25.
The hatred toward the black churches during this time, was horrendous. After Martin
Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech in August of 1963, the racial relations in the south were still getting treated violently and unequal. Later on in the year, a bomb exploded on 16th
Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. This church was a black congregation that served as a place