On the day before Hillary Clinton declared her candidacy for President of the United States, April 11, 2015, FindingSources sought out Dr. Terrence Roberts, someone in a unique position to comment on segregation, to speak about his experience and see what he thought about current issues and what we may still learn in the struggle for social justice.  In this interview with Palo Alto High School teacher David Rapaport, the two discussed the civil rights era and the state of civil rights now.

Rapaport learned something he had never known, which was that Roberts was present when Elizabeth Eckford was challenged by a mob.  Roberts' description of the events, therefore, is a first hand account.  Despite being a history teacher, to my surprise, I had not read accounts of his presence there.  That I was not aware of this came with difficulty because to not be aware of such an important witness and participant in this most visible account of prejudice must mean it has lacked significance in many books with which I am acquainted. Such an important historical fact should not be overlooked and I am really stunned that I had overlooked this.

"I think that would be a fine thing," Roberts said when asked if he would agree to an interview, and suggested that he was available that very day.

FInding Sources deeply thanks Terrence Roberts for this interview.

David Rapaport & Terrence Roberts

Date of Interview - April 11, 2015      Click Attached Link for Audio Interview




A YouTube clip highlights remarks from Terrence Roberts.

  • Could you peacefully resist violent attacks like Dr.Terrence Roberts did? 
  • Do you find yourself able or unable to adopt strategies of non-violence to achieve your political goals?  Why? Are there those who wish to control protestors and those who wish to control resistance movements?
  • Do you have issues you would fight for?
  • Why did Dr. Roberts have to endure bigotry as a teenager? What was the prevailing set of values that made this acceptable?
  • Why are the Little Rock Nine worth remembering?
  • What might we learn today from their experience?