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Days of Courage: The Little Rock Story
Days of Courage: The Little Rock Story
(Richard Kelso, Alex Haley, Mel Williges)

Days of Courage: The Little Rock StoryDays of Courage: The Little Rock Story (1992)
Days of Courage describes the experiences of the "Little Rock Nine," the first African American students to begin the integration of schools in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1957.
In 1954, the Supreme Court of the United States unanimously declared in a landmark court case, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, that it was unconstitutional to create separate schools for children on the basis of race.
In 1957, the Brown decision affected citizens of Little Rock, Arkansas, when nine African American students chose to attend the previously all-white Little Rock Central High School. For months, the attention of the state, nation, and world were turned to Arkansas and the heroic efforts of nine teenage students and local civil rights leaders as they fought for equality in central Arkansas' educational system. The desegregation, which officially occurred under federal troop protection on September 25, 1957, set a precedent for many other communities and states to follow.
Richard Kelso is a published author and an editor of several children's books. Some of his published credits include: Days of Courage: The Little Rock Story (Stories of America), Building A Dream: Mary Bethune's School (Stories of America) and Walking for Freedom: The Montgomery Bus Boycott (Stories of America).
Mel Williges is a published author and illustrator of children's books. Some of his published credits include: Days of Courage: The Little Rock Story (Stories of America) and I Am a Thief (Hardcover).
Alex Haley, as General Editor, wrote the following introduction:
Introduction By Alex Haley, General Editor
It wasn't that long ago. In the days of your parents' childhood, America was a nation divided by color. Laws kept people apart, black from white. This was called segregation. Black schools, white schools. Doors closed to blacks, doors open to whites. Restaurants, buses, trains, parks, libraries—all divided into unequal sections of black and white.
Then came the revolution that was the Civil Rights movement of the 1950's and 1960's. Many of you know the names of some of the heroes: Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Malcolm X. But no movement succeeds with just a few heroes making speeches or leading marches. There are many heroes or there is no success.
The story you are about to read is a story whose heroes are children like yourself. It's a story about nine African-American teenagers from Little Rock, Arkansas, who were willing to risk their lives to go to a school that they had every right to attend. Their character and courage would be tested, their determination and their dedication to the cause of justice challenged. They were nine ordinary American teenagers who volunteered to help change America. ~ Alex Haley.
(The above Foreword by Alex Haley is presented under the Creative Commons License. © 1993 Dialogue Systems, Inc. All Rights Reserved.)
Days of Courage: The Little Rock Story • Reviews
"We believe that what is happening in Little Rock transcends the question of segregation versus integration. It is a question of right against wrong, a question of respect against defiance of laws, a question of democracy against tyranny." - Daisy Gatson Bates, Arkansas State Press, November 8, 1957.
"This book allows the reader to see 1957 Little Rock Arkansas from the viewpoint of Elizabeth Eckford, one of the nine African American teens to integrate Central High School. Richard Kelso writes in a manner which allows young readers to grasp the political situation that America was in, and the racial tension that was blatantly displayed at the time. Students who have read this book also find the personal viewpoint of teenage Eckford easy to relate to. The characters were very real and understandable. I have taught this book to both 4th and 6th grades with great success. It is a great discussion starter and tolerance teacher." - Ames, Iowa.
"Days of Courage tackles the huge topic of discrimination in a very real and easy to understand manner. Students are able to grasp the frustration of ninth grade Elizabeth Eckford, one of the nine African American teens, that struggled to integrate Little Rock High. I have successfully used this book to discuss civil rights and freedom with grades 4-6." - South Woodbury, Ohio.
"In 1957, nine African American teenagers attempt to integrate Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. The courageous students are opposed by Governor Orval Faubus, the state's National Guard, a mob of angry segregationists, and many of their peers at Central High." - Cambium Learning.
"Little Rock Central High School, the symbol of the end of racially segregated public schools in the United States, was the site of the first important test for the implementation of the United States Supreme Court's historic Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka decision of May 17, 1954. This Supreme Court decision declared that segregation in public education was an unconstitutional violation of the 'equal protection of the laws' clause in the Fourteenth Amendment." - U.S. Department of the Interior.

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