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A mighty long way : my journey to justice at Little Rock Central High School
Lanier, Carlotta Walls
Adult Nonfiction LC214.23.L56 L36 2009

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From Publishers' Weekly:

At 14, Lanier was the youngest of the "Little Rock Nine," who integrated Little Rock Central High School in 1951; she went on to become the first African -American young woman to receive a diploma from the school. Her memoir provides a firsthand account of a seismic shift in American history. She recalls the well-reported violence outside the school and daily harassment and ineffective protection from teachers and guards. Away from school, the Nine were honored and feted, but their parents found their jobs-even their lives-in jeopardy. Lanier's house was bombed, and a childhood friend, Herbert Monts, was falsely accused and convicted. Monts's account of his experiences, shared with Lanier, 43 years later, is historically newsworthy. Lanier's recollections of family history and her relatively pedestrian experiences after high school graduation (graduate school, job hunting, marrying, finding her new home in Denver) lack the drama of her historical moment. In a sense, Lanier didn't make history, history made her. Her plainspoken report from the front line is, nevertheless, a worthy contribution to the history of civil rights in America. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Much has been written about the integration of Little Rock Central High School in 1957-58, but LaNier-youngest of the Little Rock Nine-offers a different perspective as a student who was eager for a good education but never really wanted to be at the center of such a momentous event. Facing abuse from white students, she also avoided the press and shunned attention from supporters. While many of the Little Rock Nine ended up attending school elsewhere, following the closing of all Little Rock high schools for the 1958-59 school year by Governor Faubus, LaNier returned for her senior year. She survived the bombing of her home, graduated from Central, and left Little Rock intending never to look back (she lives with her family in Colorado and founded a real estate brokerage firm). Verdict With honest clarity, LaNier acknowledges what Little Rock's African Americans lost because of Central's integration: secure jobs, a strong sense of community, and the special commitment of the well-qualified teachers at black schools. Not until 50 years later was LaNier able to confront her past and embrace her role in civil rights history. An engaging and moving book; highly recommended.-Kathryn Stewart, Proquest/Library of Congress, Washington, DC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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