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Carlotta Walls LaNier

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Information about Carlotta Walls LaNier

Profile image of Carlotta Walls LaNier

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Civil Rights Leader

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Jewel Tones, Red
Favorite Food:
Salad
Favorite Time of Year:
All Seasons
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
12/18/1942
Birth Location:
Little Rock, Arkansas

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Civil Rights Leader

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Jewel Tones, Red
Favorite Food:
Salad
Favorite Time of Year:
All Seasons
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
12/18/1942
Birth Location:
Little Rock
See how Carlotta Walls LaNier is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

The oldest of three daughters, Carlotta LaNier was born on December 18, 1942 in Little Rock, Arkansas to Juanita and Cartelyou Walls. LaNier (then Walls) made history as the youngest member of the Little Rock Nine, those nine courageous African American students who integrated Little Rock Central High School in 1957. The world watched as these children and their families braved constant intimidation and threats. This defiant act followed the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Brown vs. Board of Education.

Inspired by Rosa Parks and the desire to get the best education available, LaNier enrolled in Central High School. White students called her names and spat on her and armed guards escorted her to classes, but LaNier concentrated on her studies and protected herself throughout the school year. Governor Orval Faubus stopped the public schools from opening in September of 1958, and after a year of closure and controversy, the schools re-opened in 1959. LaNier returned to Central High, graduating in 1960.

LaNier attended Michigan State University for two years before moving with her family to Denver, Colorado. In 1968, she earned a B.S. from Colorado State College (now the University of Northern Colorado) and began working at the YWCA as a program administrator for teens. In 1977, she founded LaNier and Company, a real estate brokerage company. Her experience in real estate extends from constructing and remodeling properties to marketing and selling them. Cherry Creek Realtors hired her in 1987.

LaNier was awarded the prestigious Spingarn Medal by the NAACP in 1958. She has been a member of the Colorado Aids Project, Jack and Jill of America, the Urban League and the NAACP and the president of the Little Rock Nine Foundation, a scholarship organization dedicated to ensuring equal access to education for African Americans. She has also served as a trustee for the Iliff School of Theology. In 1999, President Clinton bestowed the nation's highest civilian award, the Congressional Gold Medal, to the members of the Little Rock Nine. In 2009, LaNier completed her book, A Mighty Long Way, a biography with forward by Bill Clinton. LaNier and her husband, Ira (Ike) LaNier, have two children, Whitney and Brooke.

LaNier was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 21, 2002.

See how Carlotta Walls LaNier is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Carlotta Walls LaNier narrates her photographs
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Carlotta Walls LaNier narrates her photographs
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Slating of Carlotta Walls LaNier's interview
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Carlotta Walls LaNier lists her favorites
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Carlotta Walls LaNier talks about her family
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Carlotta Walls LaNier describes her parents' backgrounds
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Carlotta Walls LaNier describes the sights, sounds, and smells of her childhood in Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Carlotta Walls LaNier describes her household in Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Carlotta Walls LaNier describes her personality
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Carlotta Walls LaNier comments on name-calling based on skin tone
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Carlotta Walls LaNier talks about skin tone terminology
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Carlotta Walls LaNier talks about light-skinned family members passing
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Carlotta Walls LaNier talks about her grandfather's career in construction
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Carlotta Walls LaNier recalls spending time with her grandfathers
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Carlotta Walls LaNier describes her school activities
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Carlotta Walls LaNier remembers encountering Thelonious Monk in New York City
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Carlotta Walls LaNier describes meeting Malcolm X
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Carlotta Walls LaNier describes what prepared her for the Little Rock Nine
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Carlotta Walls LaNier talks about school integration in the 1950s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Carlotta Walls LaNier recounts how she became a member of the Little Rock Nine
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Carlotta Walls LaNier shares her perspective on enrolling at Little Rock Central High School
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Carlotta Walls LaNier talks about her family's reaction to her enrollment at Little Rock Central High School
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Carlotta Walls LaNier describes her first day at Little Rock Central High School
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Carlotta Walls LaNier recalls encountering the Arkansas National Guard at Little Rock Central High School
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Carlotta Walls LaNier recalls Daisy Bates' involvement with the Little Rock Nine
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Carlotta Walls LaNier describes the personalities of each person in the Little Rock Nine
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Carlotta Walls LaNier comments on the individuality within the Little Rock Nine
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Carlotta Walls LaNier talks about the administration at Little Rock Central High School
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Carlotta Walls LaNier describes the federal troops at Little Rock Central High School
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Carlotta Walls LaNier talks about her social life outside of the Little Rock Central High School
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Carlotta Walls LaNier talks about academics at the Little Rock Central High School
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Carlotta Walls LaNier describes the incident that led to Minnijean Brown's expulsion
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Carlotta Walls LaNier describes how she succeeded at Little Rock Central High School
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Carlotta Walls LaNier recalls when the Governor Orval Faubus closed all the schools in Little Rock
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Carlotta Walls LaNier shares her impressions of the white students at Little Rock Central High School, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Carlotta Walls LaNier shares her impressions of the white students at Little Rock Central High School, pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Carlotta Walls LaNier talks about how being part of the Little Rock Nine affects her life now
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Carlotta Walls LaNier recalls harassment at Little Rock Central High School
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Carlotta Walls LaNier talks about visiting Little Rock, Arkansas later in life
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Carlotta Walls LaNier talks about how she would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Carlotta Walls LaNier describes her pride in the Little Rock Nine
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Carlotta Walls LaNier describes the individual accomplishments of the Little Rock Nine
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Carlotta Walls LaNier reflects upon the positive outcomes of the Little Rock Nine