Central High School for the
1957–58 school year. Despite daily harassment from some white students,
Roberts completed his junior year at Central. The following year, the
city’s high schools were closed to prevent further desegregation. As a
result, Roberts moved to Los Angeles, California, and graduated from Los
Angeles High School in 1959.
Following his graduation from high school, Roberts attended
California State University at Los Angeles and earned a BA in sociology
in 1967. He attended graduate school at the University of California at
Los Angeles and received an MS in social welfare in 1970. In 1976,
Roberts earned a Ph.D. in psychology from Southern Illinois University
in Carbondale. He served as co-chair of the department of Master of Arts
in Psychology Program at Antioch College in Los Angeles, California,
and also taught several graduate courses there. In addition to serving
as CEO of Terrence J. Roberts and Associates Management Consulting Firm,
he maintains a private psychology practice and is a desegregation
consultant to the Little Rock School District.
On May 17, 1979, Roberts was able to meet Orval Faubus face to face on ABC’s Good Morning, America.
He said, “I really feel it was a violation of public trust to practice
your own personal policies of racism in that position. You endangered
not only my life, but the lives of hundreds of other people, both black
Roberts was awarded the prestigious Spingarn Medal by the National
Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1958. In
1999, President Bill Clinton presented the nation’s highest civilian award, the Congressional Gold Medal, to the members of the Little Rock Nine.
In 2009, he published a memoir, Lessons from Little Rock. The following year, he published Simple Not Easy: Reflections on Community Social Responsibility and Tolerance.
-The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture