Text Study December 1st

HW Wednesday : questions 1-5 on Ferguson

Next Wednesday TEST on Unit 2 The Color Line


November 21st, 2014.

Context : After the abolition of slavery in 1865, after the Jim Crow Laws that enforced the ‘Separate but Equal’ concept of segregation, after the Brown Vs Board of Education Supreme Court decision that ended segregation in schools in 1954, 2 years after the MontGomery Bus Boycott (1955)


1865- Lincoln abolished slavery

1896 – Plessy Vs Ferguson = ‘Separate but Equal’ concept / segregation is legal

1954 – Brown Vs Board of Education = End of segregation in schools.

1964 – Civil Rights Act

> The End of Segregation in school is official since 1954 but what happens in former white-only schools for Black people?


Little Rock is a city in the state of Arkansas, in the United States.

TODAY we focus on:

  • The Little Rock Nine Crisis Text Study – Carlotta’s story.
  • So far in the US White schools don’t accept Black students. Black people didn’t have any rights before 1964 (Civil Rights Act) and desegragation. The students were not considered equal.
  • Can the situation / mentalities change in one day / overnight ?
    • So far: jusque là
    • the same … as: le même que
    • overnight: du jour au lendemain

    1. The story is told by one of the nine black kids who tried to integrate Little Rock Central high school in 1957, in Arkansas. This school was a white-only school before 1954.

    Her name is Carlotta, she was a teenage student. We can notice a guard / soldier on the picture so the kids need protection.

    2. a. Schools before 1954 were separated between white-only ( rich ) and black-only (poor).


    • Carlotta’s decision: Her teacher is responsible for her decision / He advised her to go / he asked her if she could be interested in going. The school is quite close (“less than a mile”) to her house / it’s not far away from her house. It offers top-quality education that’s why she wants to attend the white school called Little Rock Central High School.

    As a negative result … she was harassed and humiliated and teachers didn’t interfere // her father lost his job and // her house was bombed / her friends were wrongly accused.

    As a positive result … She changed mentalities and paved the way for other Black kids. She graduated and was the first African American girl to get a diploma in Little Rock.

    New York Times article

    Key facts

  • It happened on September 23rd, 1957 in Little Rock, Arkansas outside / in front of the ‘former’ white-only school. 9 black students tried to go to school / attempted to integrate in the morning but they had to leave around midday.
  • They were turned away by a mob / crowd of angry white demonstrators.This attempt only lasted for 3hours and 13 minutes so it failed.Remember!
    • Abolition of slavery: 1865
    • to be responsible for: être responsible de
    • to advise so. To do sthg: conseiller à qq’un de faire qqchose.
    • As a result / as a consequence : par conséquent
    • to be harassed: être harcelé / molesté
    • to be ostracized: être exclu
    • to bomb: exploser / bombarder
    • a miscarriage of justice: une erreur judiciaire.
    • to fail: rater
    • to attempt = to try
    • noon: midi
    • to bow / to yield to pressure: céder à la pression
    • crowd: une foule / a mob : une horde (foule aggressive)
    • a riot: une émeute



were harassed / were humiliated / were turned away / were roughed up: be (past ) + past participle

the subject is a victim, we have empathy, we feel sorry for him/her.






There are different types of heroes:

– superheroes > fiction

– modern / historical heroes > real people who challenged mentalities, opposed a situation and stood up for a cause. (Mandela, MLK, Rosa Parks)

– everyday heroes (firefighters, surgeons… )

The journalist in the New York Times article is biased because he criticizes the white mob, he uses the lexical field of fury and hysteria. He portrays the white crowd in a very negative way.


Carlotta Wallis, Elizabeth Eckford, Claudette Colvin are ‘unexpected‘ heroines because they were teenagers, girls and Black so they were strong minded and very brave butt they are not remembered by history books, they are not as famous as Martin Luther King or Rosa Parks, they are ‘unsung’ (‘ne sont pas louées, célébrées, chantées.)

They set the example for Black generations, they were the foot soldiers of the bus boycott and they have to be remembered!

The battle for school integration and desegregation was a very slow, difficult and complicated process. Mentalities didn’t change as fast as the laws. The situation for Black people didn’t change overnight.

This event is important because the national guard was present and it echoes racial tensions happening today in Ferguson.


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