The national Black History Month observance continues at Mississippi State when one of the "Little Rock Nine" visits the university on Feb. 27.
Ernest Green will present "Lessons from Little Rock." The free, public presentation will begin at 2 p.m. in the Bill R. Foster Ballroom at Colvard Student Union.
Green was one of the first nine African American students who integrated Little Rock Central High School in the Arkansas state capital on Sept. 25, 1957, three years after the U.S. Supreme Court's historic decision that declared segregated schools to be unconstitutional.
When the Arkansas governor took actions to prevent the African-American students from entering, the situation escalated and came to be known nationally as the Little Rock Crisis. Only after former President Dwight Eisenhower applied his federal powers did Green and the others successfully enroll.
After Green became the first African-American to graduate from Central High, he earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Michigan State University. Green received honorary doctorates from Michigan State, Tougaloo College and Central State University in Ohio.
In 1958, he became the youngest person ever to receive the NAACP's Spingard Medal for his pioneering role in upholding basic American ideal of equality. In 1999, he was presented with the Congressional Gold Medal for his bravery, along with the others members of the Little Rock Nine.
Green works directly with representatives for the city and state of New York, as well as the city of Chicago, in his role as the managing director of public finance for Lehman Brothers in Washington, D.C. He also served as the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training during former President Jimmy Carter's administration.
Former President Bill Clinton appointed Green the chairman of the African Development Foundation, and he chaired the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Capital Financing Advisory Board.
He also served in numerous leadership organizations, including the Council on Foreign Relations, the Executive Leadership Council, the Legislative Action Committee of the Public Securities Association and the National Association of Securities Professionals and Africare.
MSU sponsors for Green's visit include the colleges of Agriculture; Architecture, Art and Design; Arts and Sciences; Forest Resources; and Veterinary Medicine. Offices of the President, Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, Research and Economic Development, and Public Affairs are other campus sponsors.
Additional university sponsors include African-American Studies and Gender Studies, Richard Holmes Cultural Diversity Center, Shackouls Honors College, and the departments of anthropology and Middle Eastern cultures, communication, English, and psychology. The Greater Starkville Development Partnership is also sponsoring Green's visit.
For more information about Green's visit, call Linda Miller of African-American Studies at 662-325-0587.