UCSB Arts & Lectures (A&L) will host a virtual talk — Minnijean Brown-Trickey, Return to Little Rock: A Seminal Moment in American Civil Rights and Education — 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 5.
Part of A&L’s Race to Justice series, the conversation with Anne H. Charity-Hudley, North Hall Endowed Chair in the Linguistics of African America UCSB professor of linguistics, will be followed by a Q&A. Ticket holders will be able to replay this event for one week.
In 1957, Brown-Trickey changed history by striding through the front doors of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. As a member of the Little Rock Nine, she helped desegregate public schools — a milestone in civil rights history — and alter the course of education in America. Her talks are a sweeping exploration of social change and a reminder that the fight is far from over.
In autumn 1957, Brown-Trickey took her rightful place in what had previously been a whites-only school. In front of a worldwide television audience, she walked past armed guards and an angry mob to help set America on the path toward desegregation in public schools.
This was just the start of her fiery career as a social activist. For her work, she has received the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal, the Spingarn Medal, the Wolf Award, and a medal from the W.E.B. DuBois Institute. Under the Clinton administration, she served as deputy assistant secretary of the Department of the Interior, for diversity.
She has appeared in two documentaries: “Journey to Little Rock: The Untold Story of Minnijean Brown Trickey” and HBO’s “Little Rock: 50 Years Later.”
In her adult life, Brown-Trickey continues to be an activist for minority rights. She lived in Canada in the 1980s and 1990s, getting involved in First Nations activism and studying social work at Laurentian University.