Choices in Little Rock

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Choices in Little Rock  is a teaching unit that focuses on efforts to desegregate Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1957—efforts that resulted in a crisis that historian Taylor Branch once described as "the most severe test of the Constitution since the Civil War."

The unit explores civic choices—the decisions people make as citizens in a democracy. Those decisions, both then and now, reveal that democracy is not a product but a work in progress, a work that is shaped by the choices that we make about ourselves and others. Although those choices may not seem important at the time, little by little, they define an individual, delineate a community, and ultimately distinguish a nation. Those choices build on the work of earlier generations and leave legacies for those to come.