To be the first in anything is to become a hero. It is also a difficult journey that tests the strongest among us. Ernest Green is a part of the Little Rock Nine, a group of African-American students who were chosen to desegregate Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. He is also the first African-American student to graduate from the school in 1958.
In 1993, his story was told in The Ernest Green Story. Morris Chestnut played the title role in the television movie.
I feel like this is one of those movies we should all see, regardless of race or ethnicity. America in 2018 is not the same America of the late 1950’s. But we are also, not so far away from the period. If nothing else, this film is not only a reminder of how far we have come, it is also a reminder that the battle for civil rights and true equality still needs to be fought.
I recommend it.
In 1957, Melba Pattillo Beals did not intend to make history. She simply wanted an education. But like every other African-American in the Jim Crow south, she was considered to be second class and did not deserve the same education as her white peers. A member of the of Little Rock Nine, she was one of the first African-American students to enroll at the historically all white Central High in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Her memoir, Warriors Don’t Cry, was last updated in 2007. Told in a first person, the reader is taken directly into the writer’s head and experiences the Civil Rights Movement through Ms. Beals’s perspective and memories.
The main message I got from reading this book is that it doesn’t take place in another world and another era. It takes place in America, not too long ago. If nothing else, it is a stark reminder of the ugly underbelly of American culture and how we must continue to fight for the equality of all citizens. Ms. Beals got the ball rolling, it is of the utmost importance that we continue what she and the other members of the Little Rock Nine started.
I absolutely recommend it.