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Wednesday, April 28, 2010.

“Little Rock Nine” student to discuss effects of desegregation and racism

Gun-toting troops escorting nine African American students to a previously all-white high school is one of those images that left a significant imprint on the American consciousness.

Now, 53 years after he helped make history as one of the “Little Rock Nine,” Dr. Terrence Roberts will discuss the lessons learned from a landmark event on school desegregation when he visits Antelope Valley College May 11.

Roberts will conduct a free public talk on “What Lessons Can We Learn from Little Rock” at 2 p.m. in the campus Cafeteria, 3041 W. Ave. K, Lancaster. The Cafeteria is located in the Student Center on the south side of campus.

Roberts was just 15 when he and eight other African American students walked onto the Central High School campus in Little Rock, Arkansas. The event followed the Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education (1954) that desegregated public schools across the country.

His decision to attend Central High School was followed by torment, fear and physical attacks. Roberts will discuss his experiences and the effects of racism on daily life and the lessons he learned, particularly the need to accept and embrace differences and diversity.

Roberts eventually moved with his family to Los Angeles, where he graduated from Los Angeles High School.  He earned a bachelor’s degree from California State University, Los Angeles, a master’s from the University of California, Los Angeles and a doctorate in psychology from Southern Illinois University.

The visit by Roberts is sponsored by the college’s Equal Employment Opportunity Advisory Committee. For more information call (661) 722-6300, ext. 6120.