NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KAIT/KLRT) - Richard Lindsey was a 17-year-old senior at Scipio A. Jones High School in North Little Rock in 1957 when he and five other students tried to integrate North Little Rock High School.
Some 63 years later, Lindsey said the day was historic and that he and his friends became unsung heroes.
According to a report from content partner KLRT, Lindsey and the men - Frank Henderson, Eugene Hall, William Henderson, Gerald Persons and Harold Smith - went to the school on Sept. 9, 1957.
“It was scary for the first time, they gave us these directions and they told us don’t look down, keep your head up and walk straight ahead,” Lindsey said.
The teens and four AME ministers walked to the school steps, where they heard racial slurs along the way. Days before, nine black students tried to enroll at Little Rock Central High School. Then-Gov. Orval Faubus ordered the state’s National Guard to keep the students out of Little Rock Central, according to KLRT.
The “North Little Rock 6” were denied entry to North Little Rock High School and never enrolled in classes there. However, on Sept. 25, 1957, the Little Rock Nine attended Little Rock Central for the first time.
In September 1966, 20 black students attended North Little Rock High School for the first time.
Lindsey said he and the five others graduated high school and finished college, while only three of the six men are still alive.