Monday marks the sixtieth anniversary Central High School’s integration of nine African-American students.
On September 25, 1957, those students, under the protection of military escorts, entered the formerly all-white school.
Anniversary events are happening all weekend to commemorate the event.
Charmaine Nero was at one of those celebrations, a benefit concert by Mavis Staples at the Robinson Center. Earlier, she got a chance to catch up with a few high school seniors at the Clinton Library experiencing a first-hand history lesson in civil rights.
“It’s kind of different because we’ve never really experienced this,” said Malik Morant, senior at Marvell Elaine High School. “I’m just anxious to see what happens and learn more about it.”
Author and former presidential diarist for Bill Clinton, Janis Kearney, led the group of Marvell Elaine students.
“I’m just anxious to see what happens and learn more about it,” she said.
Kearney says there’s still much that needs to be done, but she’s hoping this trip proves change possible, starting with the youth, like her group Marvell Elaine.
“Education is so much more important now than it was in 1957, she said. “We honor Little Rock nine. We would not have been here in this building today, if it weren’t for the little rock 9.”
Those students also had the chance to visit the home of Daisy Bates as well as the campus of Central High.
Events going throughout the weekend benefit different charities.
The Mavis Staples performance collected funds to benefit the Little Rock Nine Foundation.