Search the Archive

Desegregation / Little Rock 1957 Incident #254280

CBS Evening News for Thursday, Sep 22, 1977
View other clips in this broadcast →

Material supplied by VTNA may be used for educational analysis or research only. Any editing, reproduction, publication, rebroadcast, public showing or public display may be prohibited by copyright laws.

(Studio) Has been 20 years since federal troops escorted group of blacks to high school in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1st of many confrontations over desegregation. Following is update report on Little Rock situation.
REPORTER: Walter Cronkite

(Little Rock, Arkansas) Background of that 1st incident noted. (Film shown.) Black students were barred from Little Rock Central high school by National Guard troops, -under orders from Governor Orval Faubus to maintain segregation. [In film, MAN - thinks blacks will get in, but doesn't know how long they'll live after they do.] Federal troops had to be sent to escort black students to Central. 1 of 9 who were in group, Ernest Green, is now assistant secretary of labor in DC. [GREEN - thinks it significant that for 1st time federal troops protected black students.] Now, Central is 51% black and students of both races get along well together here; while social barriers are largely unbroken, bitterness seems forgotten.
REPORTER: Eric Engberg

[GIRL - feels there are no problems like that now; hasn't hurt her education and that's important thing.] Blacks and whites agree that Little Rock schools are integrated, but that wide gaps remain between races. [Central senior Deann WESTFALL - says students tend to stick with people they've grown up with.] [BOY - says blacks and whites stick pretty much together in groups, depending on what they're doing.] School officials use computer to aid in racial balance in classes, but college prep courses remain almost all white, while vocational and remedial classes are almost all black. [Supt. of schools Paul FAIR - cites reasons for some classes being predominately either black or white.] Critics say this is system to deny blacks equal opportunity. [Attorney John WALKER - says blacks are put into special education programs early and rarely get out of this process.] Impact on white students, is, at present, unclear. Little Rock elementary schools have been undergoing desegregation for last 6 years and it is in this that officials place hopes for true integration.

Cronkite, Walter;
Engberg, Eric

Note to sponsor members: The Vanderbilt Television News Archive video player requires a modern operating system and browser to work properly. If you are experiencing playback problems, check the minimum requirements and adjust your setup accordingly. After adjustments, if you continue to experience problems, please contact us.

Welcome! Above is the abstract of the item that you're interested in viewing from the Vanderbilt Television News Archive's collection. You have three options if you'd like to view this item:

  • You may request a loan of this video by registering on our website and placing an order.
  • You may visit the Television News Archive on the Vanderbilt campus to view on-site from the Archive's collection.
  • If you are associated with a college or university, you may ask your library if they would like to become a sponsor, which would give students and faculty at your institution the ability to view items from our collection.

If you believe that you are associated with a sponsoring college or university and have received this message in error, please let us know.