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Mon, 09.22.1941

Ernest Green, Lawyer and Activist born

Ernest Green

*Ernest Green was born on this date in 1941. He is a Black lawyer, administrator, and one of the Little Rock Nine.

Ernest Gideon Green was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, to Lothaire and Ernest Green, Sr. Ernest had a brother, Scott, and a sister, Treopia Washington. As a child, Green attended church and was a member of the Boy Scouts of America, earning the rank of Eagle Scout. He attended segregated Dunbar Junior High School and Horace Mann High School, a new high school for blacks. At the end of his junior year at Horace Mann, Green volunteered to attend the all-white Little Rock Central High School in the fall of 1957 and help desegregate one of the nation’s largest schools.

He was the only senior among the nine blacks who decided to integrate Central High that fall. He made history as the first of the Little Rock Nine and the first African American to graduate from Little Rock’s Central High School. Martin Luther King Jr. attended the graduation. Green attended Michigan State University on a scholarship provided by an anonymous donor. While at Michigan State, Green engaged in activism and protests supporting the American Civil Rights Movement. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1962 and a master’s degree in sociology in 1964.

From 1968 to 1976, Green served as Director of the A. Philip Randolph Education Fund. From 1977 to 1981, he served as an Assistant Secretary of Labor during Jimmy Carter’s administration. From 1981 to 1985, Green was a partner in Green and Herman; from 1985 to 1986, he owned E. Green and Associates. He previously worked at Lehman Brothers, where he was a Managing Director in the fixed income department of the Washington, D.C. office, focusing on public finance. He is also a board member at the Albert Shanker Institute.

Green character is in two made-for-television movies about the Little Rock Nine. Green was the first black to graduate from the school in 1958. In 1999, he and the other members of the Little Rock Nine received the Congressional Gold Medal.

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