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tv   Reel America Nine From Little Rock 1964  CSPAN  September 24, 2017 2:35pm-3:01pm EDT

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the quality of the company, enhances returns to ofreholders, has one hand shareholder value as a result of that, and i think there is no secret that overall, this president and this administration is likely less hostile to horizontal growth, or even vertical growth in the telecom space and elsewhere. >> watch "the communicators, on communicators," on c-span two. each week american history tv , brings you public affairs films from the 20th century. "nine from little rock" is a u.s. information agency film narrated by jefferson thomas, one of the nine african-american 1957, enrolledn in little rock, arkansas' all-white central high school.
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the governor prevented the students from attending class until eisenhower sent army troops and federalized the arkansas national guard to restore order and enforce school desegregation. in the film, mr. thomas and several others of the little rock nine reflect on their experience, life beyond high school, and hopes for the future. the film won an academy award in for documentary short 1955 subject. ♪
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>> where do you begin? where do you look? like an ancient battlefield, the ground is silence, though people still move in familiar places. now on this field, negro and white run together, remembering how it was in little rock, arkansas in 1957. perhaps it is best for those today to look where they are going and not where they have in. but when you are a dark man in a country where the negro is demanding more and more an equal chance, you have the right to look back to discover if you are really moving forward, or if the world is just moving beneath your feet. i have a special reason for looking back. my name is jefferson thomas, and i am one of the nine from little
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rock. ♪ >> there is nothing strange in seeing american children walking nine to school on a september morning, but this was a special morning in a special part of america. a place where negro children had never gone to school before. -- with whites before. ♪ >> hatred is easier to organize. there was a minority in our state you found it to their advantage to bring hate to little rock in 1957. while we watched, the white children went to school, and we stood outside. ♪
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had been taught in school that we were a nation under law, and the law said segregation was wrong. now we waited to see if this law had meaning, or were just words in a book, idle talk in a classroom. [trumpet playing] >> on september 27, 1957, president eisenhower sent 1000 men of the united states army to carry out the law. the supreme court of the united states had said the entire strength of the nation may be used to enforce the security of
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all rights interested -- entrust ed by the u.s. constitution and , that included my right and the rights of eight other negro americans who wanted to go to central high school in little rock, arkansas. we were terrence, thelma, elizabeth, ernest, carlotta, minn ook, mini-jean, -- ie-jean, and gloria. and we were going to school again. obviously, in this town of 100,000, there were many who did not like what was happening. but as we looked at the soldiers, we knew there must the best be millions of others who thought we were presented -- we represented something important.
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♪ when the doors closed behind us that day, it was both an end and a beginning. from that moment on, we would be watched -- not only by those who look at us as strangers but by wondered if we would live up to our new opportunity. i remember standing there wondering how history would , judge us. [bells] >> it has been seven years since that first day. what has happened? where have we gone? what have we done? >> i was the oldest of the nine and perhaps the least serious. , i came here to southern illinois university after graduation. at first, i thought i wanted to be a nurse, but i was too outgoing for that.
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now i know i want to work in a newspaper and be a journalist and to write. more than anything else in the world, i want to write. this year, i took a job at the university newspaper and worked as a reporter, 20 hours per week after classes. there is no substitute for writing under pressure. you have to get the story out and to make it good. i remember the reporters who came from all over the world to cover the story of little rock. to be able to take a story like that and put it into words is something i have always wanted to be able to do. someday, i'm going to write a book about what happened in little rock. but first, i have got to learn more about writing and the world. you can do that best in school. teachers like professor simon have helped me to grow up. he is a man who makes you want to go to school forever.
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i'm going to work after request -- i graduate. i have applied to newspapers and one has already offered me a job. ♪ i'm going to miss this university. the friendships i have made here are long and deep. the things i have learned here have helped me come to terms with myself. for the first time in my life, i have begun to understand why americans act the way they do. i know now some americans have a fear of the negro, a fear born from a way of life that has been dead in this country since the end of slavery. that's what the mob in little rock was afraid of -- that the negro, who had done so much with
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no chance, might do so much more with an equal one. >> it has been four years since i stood in this hallway and watched the faces moving from class to class. none of this would seem strange to us now, for we all went on to colleges where there were more whites the negroes. except elizabeth -- she went to central state college in ohio. >> central state was founded as an all negro college about 100 years ago. today, like most american schools, it is a mixture of negro and white. when i entered high school, i thought i wanted to be a lawyer and then a teacher and now, like
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most students, i haven't quite decided what i want to be. the world is a big place and when i go out into it, i want to be sure i go in the right direction. if it had not been for that morning in september, 1957, i could have gone into law or education and not thought much about it. i was frightened that morning. ♪ but i learned a great deal about people. not only about the people who were there but about the people , who were not there. like the politician who encouraged the mob, like the thousands who suffered with me and wrote to me to tell me so. while i waited, i heard voices speak out against us and i saw grown men turn their heads in shame from the camera. ♪
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singing] ♪ [applause] >> central state is a negro college that opened its doors to whites only 17 years ago. today, 20% of the students are -- and the faculty are white, and there are some students against integration. the negro is like most americans, possessing no
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monopoly on tolerance, and hoping this view that we have will not be confused with the rest of them. >> four years ago, a negro walked this hall in fear. some of the hate outside had come inside. there were a few who tried to impose their will on the many. when we went up a stairway, we hung onto the railing. ♪ >> can i help you? >> i'm looking for ms. poindexter's room. >> she is in room 214. >> thank you very much. >> anytime.
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♪ thelma used to say the problems we had getting into this school were worth it, just to be able to take courses from some of the teachers. it's not surprising so many students like thelma wanted to go into teaching. >> i graduate this year from southern illinois university at carbondale. going to college is a tradition in my family. that's why i applied for central. i wanted a good high school education. i wanted the best training i could get before i entered college. aspirations are very personal things but i think i can state , mine simply -- i love to teach and i love
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children. children are happy, moody, difficult, and wonderful. they accept me for what i am. ♪ after i finished college, i went to apply for job teaching in little rock. maybe someday at central high i . i wonder what it will be like. >> thelma, carlotta and i had ms. dunn. no one had seen a school with so much equipment before. i think it was the equipment that first gave ernie the impression he wanted to be an engineer, but i am glad he changed his mind. ♪
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>> after i leave michigan state university, i'm going to work in the field of civil rights as a leader and organizer. even in the northern states, you will find pockets of discrimination like you do all over the world. there is a tide rising against it and i want to be part of it. ♪ i came to michigan state to study engineering. three years ago, i changed my mind and decided i would rather work with people than with machines. under my professor, i received my bachelor's degree in sociology. next week i will receive my masters. i am convinced that a white
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american can never fully understand what motivates the negroes desire for equality. but the white americans are becoming more concerned, especially my generation and that makes tomorrow worth dreaming about. [bells] the american negro must protest , and he must also build understanding by searching for the truth. the tools for truth in science is becoming tools for truth in relations. for the past two years, i have been compiling data on the aspirations of negro and white children in a segregated community. today, we are capable of getting answers that have real meaning, that carry the power of fact against those who would exploit rumor and prejudice.
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my research is just one part in a quiet revolution taking place in america. it's not alone a revolution in technology, but a revolution in thinking. a revolution that says man, no matter how humble his birth, what color his skin, must be permitted to go as far as his mind and aspirations will take him. >> ernie was the first of us to graduate from central. carlotta and i were the last. we were the class of 1960. carlotta goes to denver university in colorado. she is a good student and she likes the high mountains out there.
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gloria ray is a senior at the illinois institute of technology. this year she receives her degree in chemistry. terrence roberts is studying for his degree in business administration at the city college of los angeles. melba married early and was not in college for over a year before she became a housewife. and me -- this spring i take an exam to become a certified public accountant. that means i'm supposed to be qualified to keep track of profits and losses. i'm not sure i know enough to say what all this adds up to. i have not counted all the victories since that first day we went to school here. but i know there has been at least nine. ♪
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in little rock, there is a slow bridge taking shape over the chasm of intolerance and ignorance. it is a bridge that is going to be told by us and by our children. before it's finished, we will have our problems. but if little rock taught us nothing more, it taught all americans that problems can make us better -- much better. ♪ >> that was early on, when i believed that trump had just announced, and they were worried that he was going to be bad for
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them in terms of women voters, and i thought really? you are worried now? considering how far back they ,ave had an anti-woman platform with reproductive rights, equal pay. >> tonight on q&a, washington pulitzer it -- post prize-winning cartoonist and columnist. >> i do not remember who did the interview, but he was interviewed and said nothing like he never goes to any washington dinners without his wife -- i thought ok, this was a gift. problem -- you do not have any problem voting about a woman's personal reproductive choices, which are some of the most personal and intimate things a woman can deal with, but you will not go to dinner where a woman, fully clothed, is at the same table. tonight, on c-span's q&a.
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>> this weekend on american history tv, former d.c. air national guard f-16 pilot heather penny and former united airlines captain john penney reflect on the 9/11 terrorist attacks. ms. penny was one of the first pilot scramble from andrews air force base that thursday. here is a preview. fully one, eric , and wey number two have billy hutchinson, bully three. so they take off, they are headed down to north carolina to find some straights. everybody loves shooting their gun. i have never seen a fighter pilot ever pull a gun and not go -- we all make the noise.
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[laughter] >> we are sitting in an administrative meeting, and we get a knock at the door. he pokes his head and, with david callahan. an airplane just flew into the world trade center. we look outside, because our conference room was right on the plight line -- flight line. huge plateglass windows, and we are thinking how does that happen? notou know, new york is that far away, contrary to what traffic would have you believe. a stone'st there as throw, as far as the bird flies. and saw perfect, crystal autumn day that we get here. what? we are thinking -- did somebody pooch their approach into laguardia? it must have been a sightseeing airplane going down the hudson,
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just made a wrong turn, we made a couple of jokes about little airplanes bouncing off the buildings because they certainly do not do any damage. they just fall to the ground. the airplanes, that is. and we continued on. it was not really anything that triggered us. later, hew minutes knocks at the door again and says another plane flew into the other world trade center. it was on purpose. watch the entire program at 4:30 p.m. eastern, on sunday. american history tv -- only on c-span3. afterwards, new york times magazine contributor suzy hansen on her travels aroad in her book "notes on foreign country: un-american abroad in a post-american world."
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>> there is definitely that question of are we exceptional, but the very question of why had i never thought that this was a form of propaganda -- why had i not thought to question where was this concept coming from? what was the job that it was doing for individual americans? -- thing i was realizing this took a long time to realize, in fact -- the very language we use when we talk about foreign countries has been determined for us a very long time ago, because we tend to look at foreigners, especially muslim countries and countries in the east as where they catching up with us, or were they behind us? what that does is being able to see the country on its own terms . >> watch afterwards, tonight at 9:00 p.m., on c-span2's book tv.
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up next we discuss declassified navy.ents by the so far titled red ent is navy revealed. soviet navy intelligence and war.sis during the cold >> good morning and thanks for coming to the national press world's oldest and largest organization of professional journalists. retired u.s. navy captain nd member of the headliner committee. on behalf of the board of directors we want to welcome you c-span and ence on other media. thank you very much. for ve a special program you today. first i want to introduce claire historical the naval foundation the executive director. she wanted to say word about aeir partnership on this

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