Terrence Roberts, one of the Little Rock Nine, to speak at Coe

Extra: Rod Pritchard, Secretary of the College
(319) 399-8605 or rpritcha@coe.edu

2018-03-26 11:02:48 - General

Terrence Roberts, one of the Little Rock Nine who were the first black students ever to attend classes at Little Rock Central High School, will speak at an upcoming Coe College event. "An Evening with Dr. Terrence Roberts" will be held on Friday, April 6, beginning at 7 p.m. in the Coe College Athletics and Recreation Complex, rooms 218A and 219A. The presentation is free and open to the public.

Roberts will be introduced by historian Elizabeth Dinschel from the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, and Linn County Supervisor Stacey Walker. The event is sponsored by the Coe College Committee on Diversity, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and the Hoover Presidential Foundation.

On Sept. 4, 1957, Roberts and eight other African American students, who became known as the Little Rock Nine, made an unsuccessful attempt to enter Little Rock Central High School. Despite the presence of the Arkansas National Guard, an angry mob of about 400 protestors surrounded the school. The Arkansas National Guard was removed with the protection of the students left to local police. A mob of about 1,000 people surrounded the school as the students again attempted to enter on Sept. 23, 1957. The following day, President Dwight D. Eisenhower sent U.S. Army troops to accompany the students to school for protection. The troops were stationed at the school for the entirety of the school year, although they were unable to prevent incidents of violence inside.

As a result of the subsequent closing of Little Rock's high schools during the 1958-59 school year, Roberts completed his senior year in Los Angeles. He continued his education at California State University – Los Angeles, and graduated with a bachelor's degree in sociology in 1967. He earned his master's degree in social welfare from the UCLA School of Social Welfare in 1970, and his Ph.D. in psychology from Southern Illinois University – Carbondale in 1976.

In his professional career, Roberts has been a college professor at Pacific Union College, director of mental health at St. Helena Hospital and Health Center, and assistant dean of the UCLA School of Social Welfare. At Antioch University, he served as core faculty and co-chair of the Master of Arts in Psychology program. He is currently principal of Terrence Roberts Consulting.

For more information, call 319-399-8843.