On September 4, 1957, 14-year-old Carlotta Walls and eight other black teenagers approached Little Rock Central High School, in Arkansas. It was supposed to be their first day of school, but angry protesters threatened the students.
Arkansas National Guardsmen stopped the crowd from entering the building. Hundreds of federal troops armed with rifles and bayonets lined the streets.
When Carlotta Walls and the other black teenagers finally made it through the school's front doors, they made history! The teens, who became known as the Little Rock Nine, were among the first black students in the country to attend an all-white school. It was a pivotal and iconic moment in the civil rights movement.
Carlotta, like the other eight black teens, dealt with humiliation, threats, and violence daily. Students spat on her and pushed her down the stairs, then knocked books out of her hands and kicked her when she picked them up.
Despite the attacks, Carlotta and the other teenagers stayed strong.