Little Rock Desegregation Heroes Mark New Era

Former students who helped pave way for Obama presidency to attend inauguration
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 20, 2009 1:53 AM CST

Five decades ago, nine teenagers walked into their new high school through screaming mobs who spat at them and shouted racist abuse. They were the first black students to desegregate Central High School in Little Rock, Ark., and became known as the Little Rock Nine. Seven of them will attend the inauguration of President Barack Obama, AP reports.

Another civil rights hero on the inaugural guest list is Ruby Bridges, who desegregated New Orleans schools at age 6. "This is going to change everything," said Terrence Roberts, one of the Little Rock Nine. "To look at a man of color and call him president, it's something that I never thought I would see in my lifetime."
(Read more President Obama stories.)

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