is Black History Month.
February is Black History Month. This important focal event
presents a special opportunity to recognize the bold and daring
achievements of African Americans.
Over fifty years ago, the doors of Little Rock's Central High
School became gates of change, when on September 4, 1957, nine
African American students came to school for class -- for the first
time. Turned away by Arkansas National Guard soldiers under
orders from the Governor, the students finally entered safely three
weeks later when the President of the United States sent the 101st
Airborne to enforce the Supreme Court's desegregation
One of the 2016 Honorees, Civil Rights activist, Daisy Bates
gave the nine students (two boys and seven girls) the information,
encouragement, and support they needed to enroll in Central High
School. When the governor resorted to closing the schools in
Little Rock to prevent integration, it was the women of the
"Women's Emergency Committee to Open Our Schools" who with daring
courage organized the effort to open the schools and in so doing
changed themselves and the community.
The historic events of the integration of Central High School
and the re- opening of all of Little Rock's schools a year after
the governor closed them are quintessential women's history.
Women's bold actions made both events possible.