New York City Mayor Wagner greeting the teenagers who integrated Central High, Little Rock, Arkansas / World Telegram photo by Walter Albertin. Pictured, front row, left to right: Minnijean Brown, Elizabeth Eckford, Carlotta Walls, Mayor Wagner, Thelma Mothershed; back row, left to right: Terrance Roberts, Ernest Green, Melba Pattilo, Jefferson Thomas. 1958.(1958.) Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection.

Minnijean Brown Trickey to Speak at Giles Symposium

Friday, September 3, 2010

In her teens, Minnijean Brown Trickey helped change history.

A junior in high school in 1957, Trickey and eight fellow black high school students, known as The Little Rock Nine, attended a then all-white Central High School.

There, they were ridiculed and bullied by white students. When Trickey finally retaliated to some of the abuse, she was expelled and finished high school in New York.

She later graduated from Southern Illinois University and raised her six children in Ontario, Canada.

The Civil Rights activist continues to tell her story and will be USAO’s 2010 Giles Symposium keynote speaker. Her lecture on Citizenship and Public Service is scheduled for Oct. 7.

Trickey has served in the Clinton Administration as deputy assistant secretary for workforce diversity at the Department of the Interior. She also has been awarded with the Lifetime Achievement Tribute by the Canadian Race Relations Foundation; the International Wolf Project Award for work promoting racial harmony; the NAACP Spingarn Medal and the Congressional Gold Medal for being one of The Little Rock Nine; and a medal from the W.E.B. DuBois Institute.

Additionally, she has been the subject of two documentaries: Journey to Little Rock: The Untold Story of Minnijean Brown Trickey and Little Rock: 50 Years Later.