Sample Essays on A Historical Summary of the Crowds during the Little Rock Crisis

The understanding of the nature and composition of the crowds gathering in Central at Little Rock school during the desegregation crisis of 1957 varies from the time when Gov. Orval Faubus through the Arkansas National Guard stopped black students (the Little Nine) from attending Little Rock school till when the students were escorted to schoolboy armed federal authorities (Cope 246). According to various sources, those who gathered were strangers and/or ruffians. As those who witnessed from their houses would not identify with their neighbors among the crowds, indicating that the rioters were outsiders. The media termed the participants of the riots as rednecks or just a contingent of trouble makers from outside Little Rock.

Historians have done a keen analysis of these street protesters, indicating the presence of major segregationists in the city like the Mother League. They also found that mobs never constituted top echelons, though they didn’t precisely who the demonstrators were. With the help of photos and other visuals, researchers like Pete and Ben Johnson contend that majority of the rioters were local people. Elizabeth Jocaway goes an extra mile to name some who are noticed even though the unruly crowds are not examined keenly. She also indicates that the group consists of both the town and country people. All this was in a bid to review the traditional perception that the rioters were outsiders. There was more evidence showing that the majority of those involved were the lower middle class and working citizens from the wider Metropolitan Little Rock.

Notwithstanding the fact that the locals are inclined to comment on the presence of outsiders than friends, more than half of the people surveyed from Central were from Pulaski County as the greater bulk were from Arkansas counties; the first group being those bordering Pulaski and the other from flat deltas of eastern Arkansas.

More sources were used to offer precise insights into the crowd involved in the riots. For example, the FBI reports utilized other sources like phone directories and school publications. The forthcoming reports showed that not all who took part in the throngs had a direct interest in the disaggregation nor were they associated with Central. But some had special interests for instance the groups of Park Street had students and parents. The youths at the high school level outnumbered those at college this could be attributed to the notable difference in attitude. Even those at college who attended did so due to curiosity. Further, in terms of composition, it is worth indicating that the crowds included a small number of black youths of less than thirty years. Young males were by far the predominant majority as most of the women involved were married or once married.

Observers commented from the scenes they were witnessing that more than half of the individuals were from Pulaski county as the September crowds did not only constitute segregationists but also integrationists like Grace Losch. Not all whites were opposed to integration. Others were just among the crowds of curiosity

In conclusion, the basic analysis used by recent historians and advanced evidence has indicated that the crowds constituted the solid folks from middle to lowest ranks in the society were likely to have been from Pulaski County and as far from other counties as Arkansas or beyond the state. The concept of redneck gains ground if the interpretation of outsiders refers to residents of metropolitan areas north of the Arkansas River.

Work Cited

Cope, Graeme. “Everybody says all those people are from out of town, but they weren’t.” A Note on Crowds during the Little Rock Crisis. Arkansas Historical Quarterly. Vol. 67, No. 3(2008) pp245-267.