Series Info, Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. v-vi

Illustrations

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pp. vii-viii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

All scholars depend on the assistance of many others. I am grateful to all those individuals and institutions who have enabled me to shape and complete this project. My first debt is to the many colleagues at the University of Arizona, past and present, who have created a stimulating intellectual community for me and have provided wonderful examples of innovative scholarship. ...

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Introduction: Not Here, Not Now, Not Us

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pp. 1-18

On the morning of September 4, 1957, 16-year-old Elizabeth Eckford awoke early, so keyed up about her first day at Little Rock’s Central High School that she could hardly wait to be up. As she ironed the black and white dress she had made for the occasion, her brother turned on the television. ...

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1. Mapping Change: Little Rock Forges a Desegregation Plan

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pp. 19-54

In 1953, the Little Rock School Board hired Virgil Blossom, then director of schools in Fayetteville, as its new superintendent, a decision that would profoundly shape the future direction of school politics in Little Rock. A former football player, the tall and burly Blossom was physically imposing. ...

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2. “Occupied Arkansas”: Class, Gender, and the Politics of Resistance

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pp. 55-93

In August 1957, as the city of Little Rock prepared to desegregate its schools by admitting a few African American students to previously all-white Central High School, its citizens became increasingly anxious. Fearful that desegregation would involve violence and unwilling to have her daughter attend school with black students, ...

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3. Uncivil Disobedience: The Politics of Race and Resistance at Central High School, 1957–1958

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pp. 94-136

In mid-December 1957, Minnijean Brown cracked under the pressure of the daily harassment she was experiencing at Central High School. In the cafeteria, which was often the site of minor provocations engineered by a cabal of racist white students, she had her way blocked by a chair. ...

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4. The Politics of School Closure: Massive Resistance Put to the Test, 1958–1959

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pp. 137-165

The graduation of Ernest Green in May 1958 meant not a resolution to the crisis over desegregation in Little Rock, but rather the end of its first stage. Indeed, citizens were still haunted by the specter of federal troops in their midst and the open racial conflict and disorder in schools that had characterized the first year of desegregation. ...

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5. The Politics of Fear and Gridlock

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pp. 166-189

William Hadley, Jr., who moderated the first Women’s Emergency Committee television program, started losing business at his newly established public relations and advertising firm soon after the broadcast of the program. He continued to lose accounts after he made statements in support of racial change in private business meetings. ...

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6. Politics as Usual: Reviving the Politics of Tokenism

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pp. 190-227

For Little Rock’s citizens, the summer of 1959 was an anxious one. In June, the Ku Klux Klan received incorporation papers from the state of Arkansas, signaling the beginning of public recruitment efforts in the state. The Little Rock School Board’s statement later that month that it would open the city’s public high schools in the fall relieved parents worried about their children’s future. ...

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Conclusions: Little Rock and the Legacies of Brown v. Board of Education

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pp. 228-244

Decades after the admission of African American students to Central High, black students and teachers who had been involved in the crisis over desegregation expressed disaffection with the poor quality of education African American children still received in Little Rock and the nation. ...

Abbreviations

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pp. 245-246

Notes

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pp. 247-314

Index

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pp. 315-330