Original “Little Rock Nine” Member to Speak at Saint Leo for Black History Month

February 21, 2014

Dr. Terrence James Roberts will present an eyewitness account of a watershed event in the civil rights movement in “Lessons from Little Rock,” at 7 p.m., Thursday, February 27, in the Greenfelder-Denlinger Boardrooms of the Student Community Center at University Campus.

Admission is free and the public is invited. Saint Leo University is at 33701 State Road 52, in the town of Saint Leo (33574), four miles east of Interstate 75 (Exit 285).

In 1957, Dr. Roberts was 15 years old when he entered Central High School in Little Rock, AR, as part of the first group of African-American students ever to attend classes at the previously all-white high school. They became known as the “Little Rock Nine.” He will discuss the opposition he and his fellow students faced, and the fight for desegregation.

“The lessons from Little Rock can lead us to a greater understanding and awareness,” said Dr. Roberts, who went on to become a college professor.

In 1999, he and his fellow Little Rock Nine students received a Congressional Medal of Honor from President Clinton.

Dr. Roberts holds degrees from California State University, Los Angeles (B.A.), University of California, Los Angeles (M.S.W.), and Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (Ph.D.). Dr. Roberts also heads a management consultant group dedicated to improving human relations in the workplace and is the official desegregation consultant for the Little Rock, Arkansas School District, and provides similar services to school districts nationwide.

Dr. Roberts’ appearance is sponsored by the Division of Student Services. For more information, email Paige Ramsey-Hamacher or call her at (352) 588-8489.