US Little Rock at 60: how school segregation returned to the US

THE WEEK, 25 SEPTEMBER 2017, FEAT. PROF. DEREK BLACK

On 25 September 1957, nine African American teens in Little Rock, Arkansas, who just three weeks earlier had been blocked from taking their place at high school by members of the national guard, braved a hostile white crowd, climbed the school steps and were escorted to class by the US Army.

The Little Rock Nine, as they became known, were revered for shattering racial segregation in US schools. But 60 years on from the events of that day, racial separation in US schools remains.

While levels of segregation did drop between the late 1960s and 1980, they have steadily increased since then to the point that schools are about as segregated today as they were in the late 1960s.

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