Terrence Roberts, one of the “Little Rock Nine,” will visit Suffolk University Law School to discuss his experience as one of the African-American students who desegregated Central High School in Little Rock, Ark., in 1957.
Little Rock Nine: Discussion with Terrence Roberts, hosted by the Suffolk University Black Law Student Association, the Women of Color Law Student Association, and Fidelity, will take place from 4-6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013, at Suffolk Law’s Sargent Hall, 120 Tremont St., Boston.
Roberts was 15 years old when he joined in one of the most important civil rights events in the 21st century, following by three years the watershed Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision guaranteeing equal protection under the 14th Amendment.
“It is indeed an honor to host Terrence Roberts at Suffolk University Law School; he is literally living history,” said Associate Clinical Professor of Law Kim McLaurin. “His belief that Brown v. Board of Education was much more than a case and that it required action on his part has had a significant impact on all of us as American citizens.”
Roberts’ test of the law began on Sept. 4, 1957, when he and eight other African American students made an unsuccessful attempt to enter Central High School, where an angry mob of about 400 people had gathered despite the presence of the National Guard.
Local police replaced the National Guard; the mob grew in size; and on Sept. 24 President Dwight D. Eisenhower sent U.S. Army troops to accompany the students to school.
“The fact that he had this foresight and willingness to integrate as a 15-year-old boy is quite remarkable,” said McLaurin. “The issues that compelled him to leave a place of familiarity, safety and comfort and go where he was not wanted, in danger and vilified each day, are still present and are hotly debated. All students can learn from his history.”
Roberts is CEO of Terrence J. Roberts & Associates, a management consulting firm devoted to fair and equitable practices. He also maintains a private psychology practice and lectures and presents workshops and seminars on a wide variety of topics.