“Courage in the face of evil. Hope for a brighter future. These characteristics describe the life and legacy of Anne Frank and her message to us today.”
-John Allen Riggins, a Senior at Little Rock Central High School, 2009
Few locations in the United States more clearly embody the courage and resilience of children like Anne Frank than Little Rock Central High School. Little Rock Central High School stood at the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement. In 1957, nine African American students—known as the Little Rock Nine—risked their lives to get an equal education at the previously all white high school. For years, the students faced racism and bigotry, as well an organized effort by the State’s Governor to deny them admission. Yet thanks to their courage and bravery, these nine students succeeded in triggering a national uproar that ultimately ensured desegregation would take place.
Today, Central High offers testament to the courage and perseverance of the Little Rock Nine and children across the United States who dare to stand up to injustice. Among the tributes that will join Anne’s tree, are the Silent Witnesses—trees that oversaw the struggles of the little Rock Nine. United with Anne’s, these trees provide a powerful reminder of the consequences of intolerance and the failure to confront it.