Terrence Roberts, The Little Rock Nine

Terrence Roberts turned away from Central High School in 1957.

Terrence Roberts turned away from Central High School in 1957. (Courtesy Central High Museum Historical Collections/UALR Archives)

Terrence James Roberts was a sophomore at Horace Mann High School when he volunteered to integrate Central High. Roberts moved to Los Angeles, during “The Lost Year.” He graduated from Los Angeles High School in 1959.

Roberts attended California State University, Los Angeles and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology in 1967 and a master’s degree in 1970. Roberts later earned a Ph.D. in psychology from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. He was a professor at Antioch College in Los Angeles and served as co-chair of the department of Master of Arts in Psychology Program.

Roberts maintains a private psychology practice and is CEO of Terrence J. Roberts and Associates Management Consulting Firm, where he counsels organizations on equitable practices in both industry and business including serving as a desegregation consultant to the Little Rock School District.

Why He Volunteered
“In Little Rock, every possible decision had a racial component: where you could live, where you could to go to school, whether you could work or not, whether you could get a bank loan… who you could marry. This made no sense to me, especially as I discovered there is no such thing as race.”

(Photo courtesy Central High Museum Historical Collections/UALR Archives)

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Beals, Melba Pattillo. Warriors Don’t Cry: A Searing Memoir of the Battle to Integrate Little Rock’s Central High. New York: Washington Square Books, 1994.

Counts, Will. A Life is More Than a Moment. Indiana University Press: Bloomington and Indianapolis, 1999.

Journey to Little Rock: The Untold Story of Minnijean Brown Trickey. Dir. Rob Thompson. North East Productions, 2002. DVD.

LaNier, Carlotta Walls, and Lisa Frazier Page. A Mighty Long Way: My Journey to Justice at Little Rock Central High School. New York: One World/Ballantine, 2009.

Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site Visitor Center. Little Rock, Arkansas. http://www.nps.gov/chsc/ (accessed June 16, 2012).

National Park Service, Central High School National Historic Site. The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture. Retrieved June 5, 2012, from http://encyclopediaofarkansas.net/encyclopedia/entry-detail.aspx?entryID=723

Roberts, Terrence. July 7, 2008. “Dr. Terrence Roberts of the Little Rock Nine,” Facing History and Ourselves. Retrieved from http://www.facing.org/about/who/profiles/dr-terrence-roberts 

Roberts, Terrence. Lessons from Little Rock. Little Rock: Butler Center Books, 2009.

The Ernest Green Story. Disney Educational Productions, 2005. DVD.