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Public Statements

Barack Obama Honors the 50th Anniversary of the Little Rock Nine

Statement

By:
Date:
Location: Chicago, IL


Barack Obama Honors the 50th Anniversary of the Little Rock Nine

U.S. Senator Barack Obama released the following statement on the 50th Anniversary of the Little Rock Nine.

"Five decades ago, the Little Rock Nine took the lead in America's long march to freedom. Despite slurs, taunts, and all kinds of indignities, these nine students kept their heads high and their backs straight, integrating Little Rock Central High School, and helping realize our founding promise of justice and equality for all. They proved that Brown could work, signaling the beginning of the end of Jim Crow, and making a life of hope and opportunity possible for someone like me.

"And yet a half-century later, much work remains. Too many of our schools are crumbling. Disparities have widened. And our Supreme Court has argued that voluntary integration is the same as Jim Crow segregation, that promoting diversity in our schools is tantamount to the plight of Linda Brown or the Little Rock 9.

"But I'm hopeful. Because fifty years ago, nine young men and women showed the world that in the face of impossible odds, ordinary people could do extraordinary things. And that's what we saw last week, when ten thousand Americans rallied to the side of justice in Jena. So if we're serious about living up to our founding ideals, we need to reconnect our politics with the core decency of the American people â€" we need to recapture in this country the dignity and courage embodied by the Little Rock Nine. And we need to do the hard work to make sure that this nation lives up to its creed."


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