Minnijean Brown Trickey Collection

About the Project

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History holds more than 20 objects, from Minnijean Brown-Trickey, who is known as one of the Little Rock Nine. These items include a graduation dress, a letter from President Dwight D. Eisenhower, a notice of suspension, her Spingarn Award certificate and along with the dress worn during the ceremony, photographs, and more. A selection of these objects will be included in the signature exhibit, "Girlhood: (It's complicated), opening at the American History Museum on June 12, 2020. As a 15-year-old girl, Trickey was one of ten African American students chosen to desegregate Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1957 -- three years after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled segregated schools were unconstitutional in the 1954 landmark Brown v. Board of Education case. One student chose not to participate after she and her family received threats, but the others, Trickey included, would come to be known as the Little Rock Nine.

Help transcribe selected materials from this collection as part of the Smithsonian's #BecauseOfHerStory campaign to share and celebrate the diverse stories of American girlhood. Coordination of this and other girlhood history projects in the Transcription Center (including selection, digitization, cataloging, outreach, and educational resources) was funded by the Smithsonian American Women's History Initiative. Click here to learn more.

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