The Desegregation Process

  • Brown v. Board of Education

    The Supreme Court rules on the case Brown v. Board of Education, unanimously agreeing that segregation in public schools is unconstitutional. The ruling paves the way for the large push for desegregation. The decision overturns the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson ruling that sanctioned "separate but equal" segregation of the races, ruling that "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal."
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    The Desegregation Process

  • Montegomery Bus Boycott

    NAACP member Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat at the front of the "colored section" of a bus to a white passenger, defying a southern custom of the time. In response to her arrest, the Montgomery black community launches a bus boycott, which will last for more than a year, until the buses are desegregated Dec. 21, 1956. Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., is instrumental in leading the boycott.
  • End of bus segregation

    After over a year of the Montgomery bus boycott, public busses in Montegomery are officially desegregated.
  • SCLC Forms

    Martin Luther King, Charles K. Steele, and Fred L. Shuttlesworth establish the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, or SCLC. King is made the first president. The SCLC becomes a major force in organizing the civil rights movement and bases its principles on nonviolence and civil disobedience.
  • "Little Rock Nine"

    The formerly all-white Central High School learns that integration is easier said than done. Nine black students including Elizabeth Eckford, Ernest Green, and Minnie Jean Brown are blocked by mobs from entering the school on the orders of Governor Orval Faubus. President Eisenhower sends federal troops and the National Guard to intervene on behalf of the students, who become known as the "Little Rock Nine."
  • Arkansas National Guard called

    Governor Orval Faubus called in the Arkansas National Guard to prevent the Little Rock Nine from entering Central High.
  • Elizabeth Eckford

    Because Elizabeth Eckfard did not have a phone, she was forced to attempt to enter the school on her own while the other eight of the Little Rock Nine all rode to school together.
  • National Guard called

    On this day, the National Guard was called to begin assisting the little rock nine to their classes.
  • Ernest Green

    Ernest Green, the only senior among the little rock nine became the fist African-American to graduate from Central High.