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Carlotta Walls LaNier’s Dress


One of the Little Rock Nine wore this dress to the first day of classes.

The battle for desegregation did not immediately end after Brown v. Board of Education. Three years after the Court’s decision, nine Black students in Little Rock, Arkansas tried to desegregate a whites-only school. Carlotta Walls LaNier, one of those students, wore this outfit on her first day of class. She and her other Black classmates were allowed in school for three hours before being removed by school administrators. The “Little Rock Nine” became national news and President Eisenhower was forced to send soldiers to escort the teens to school.