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updated: 11/7/2013 6:17 PM

Little Rock Nine speaker coming to Oakton

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  • Terrence Roberts

      Terrence Roberts


In 1957, Terrence Roberts and eight other black students were barred from entering a high school in Little Rock, Ark.

It wasn't until President Dwight D. Eisenhower and federal troops intervened that the students were allowed inside -- a significant moment in the history of civil rights in America.

Since then, Roberts and his classmates -- known as the Little Rock Nine -- have been sharing their accounts on the front lines of the civil rights battle. They often speak to those as young as they were, and sometimes, it's in the setting of a school.

That will be the case Tuesday, Nov. 19, when Roberts will discuss his life story during an event at Oakton Community College in Des Plaines.

Roberts is the author of "Lessons from Little Rock," and "Simple, Not Easy: Reflections on Community, Social Responsibility and Tolerance."

"These students are so removed from that time frame. I wasn't even born yet," said Krissie Harris, Oakton's student life coordinator, who is organizing the speaker event. "I think it's going to give them a historical perspective. And it ties into some of the things happening now."

Roberts' speech is scheduled from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Nov. 19 in Room 1610 at Oakton's Des Plaines campus, 1600 E. Golf Road.

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