Carlotta Walls LaNier

Youngest of the Little Rock Nine, civil rights advocate

  • About Carlotta Walls LaNier

    In 1957, fourteen-year-old Carlotta Walls was the youngest Little Rock Nine member to integrate Central High School. She and eight other black students faced angry mobs, racist elected officials, and federal intervention by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was forced to send in the 101st Airborne to escort the Nine safely into the building. Little did she realize that day that this was the beginning of a journey that would challenge prevailing attitudes, break down barriers, and forever change the social landscape of America. Overcoming her initial need to forget her turbulent past, Carlotta Walls LaNier has told her dramatic story for the first time in A Mighty Long Way: My Journey to Justice at Little Rock Central High School.

    A sought-after lecturer, LaNier has spoken all over the country at colleges and universities, women’s and African American organizations, libraries and civic groups.

    After graduating from Little Rock Central High School in 1960, Carlotta Walls attended Michigan State University and graduated from Colorado State College—now the University of Northern Colorado, which has awarded her an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters and on whose board of trustees she sits. In addition to receiving the Congressional Gold Medal and the NAACP’s Spingarn Medal, awarded to her as a member of the Little Rock Nine, Carlotta Walls LaNier is an inductee in the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame and the Girl Scouts Women of Distinction. She serves as president of the Little Rock Nine Foundation, created to promote equality of opportunity for all, particularly in the field of education.

  • Speaking Topics

    A Mighty Long Way: My Journey to Justice at Little Rock Central High School

    The Burden of Being First

    Civil Rights, Then and Now

    Race and Diversity Today

  • Video

  • Praise for Carlotta Walls LaNier

    Praise for A Mighty Long Way

    A Might Long Way will make you ashamed and proud, angry and hopeful, heartsick and happy...a story we all need to know.

    former President Bill Clinton

    [An] affecting…powerful memoir.

    The Washington Post

    Marvelous...this story is an inspiration.

    Congressman John Lewis, author of March
  • Books by Carlotta Walls LaNier

  • Media About Carlotta Walls LaNier

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  • Carlotta Walls LaNier travels from Engelwood, CO

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