In Part One of the 2/3 edition of Seng Center, Regis University host Jimmy Sengenberger is joined by Carlotta Walls LaNier, the youngest of the Little Rock Nine and author of the book A Mighty Long Way, for a college radio exclusive. In the most compelling and inspiring interview in Seng Center’s two and a half-year run, Carlotta discusses her heart-wrenching experiences at Little Rock Central High School from 1957 through 1960.
She shares what it was like to be prevented entry to the school by Arkansas’ own National Guard, at the behest of Governor Faubus; to be escorted into Central High by troops from the 101st Airborne Division; to go through each school day horribly demeaned and mistreated by her fellow students; and what it was like to grow up in the Jim Crow South. Plus, LaNier explains what it was like when her house was bombed by opponents of desegregation—only to have her father and childhood friend accused and beaten by the police.
In an interview which barely scratches the surface of her tale, Carlotta also tells Jimmy about her time in Chicago in the summer of 1959, during which she experienced the richness of jazz and blues of the late 1950’s, as well as what it was like to receive the Congressional Gold Medal from the U.S. Congress and President Bill Clinton in 1999.
Be sure to check out A Might Long Way, Carlotta Walls LaNier’s memoir, available online at Amazon.com and wherever books are sold. It reads well and smoothly as a reflective and informative piece, and it is well worth the time.