Explorations in Black Leadership

Co-Directed by Phyllis Leffler & Julian Bond

Faubus, Orval (1910–1994)

In 1955 he became the 36th governor of Arkansas, serving six consecutive terms until 1967. He ran as a progressive candidate and was a relatively liberal figure who did not use race as an issue until school desegregation forced him to take a position. In 1957, he tried to block the federally mandated desegregation of Little Rock’s Central High School, bringing in the Arkansas National Guard to prevent African American students from entering. The nine students, known as the Little Rock Nine, had to endure enraged mobs. President Eisenhower called in National Guard and Army troops to restore order. Ultimately schools were opened, but Faubus became a hero to white supremacists, ensuring his continued reelection.