OBOC: LaNier’s A Mighty Long Way

By Melyssa Tsangaris


This year marks the 10th successful year of OBOC taking place at Cumberland County College this fall. The book being featured this year is A Mighty Long Way by Carlotta Walls LaNier, a book that deals with not only “Little Rock Nine” but also goes into deeper detail concerning racism, personal hardships, and the evolution of America. It was urged on campus to read the book because, not only is there going to be a discussion concerning the book, the author herself is going to be joining CCC at a reading October 30th 2013.

One Book One College is a program that was designed to not only to broaden a good book, but to bond the college together by the book itself. When students read a specific book that everyone can reflect on, it creates a unity and a discussion begins. When asked how the discussion is started, the creator of the program, Sharon Kewish, explained, “The author has a meeting with a small group of students who have read the book and discussed it in their classes in the afternoon of the day he/she is on campus.  Then, there is a dinner for the author and these students, administrators, committee members, and finally the main presentation in the theater at 7 pm.” 

A Mighty Long Way is a memoir of Carlotta Walls Lanier’s actual experiences dealing with “Little Rock Nine”, one of the most vital civil rights movements of all time. Speaking about her experiences for the first time, LaNier’s emotional and inspiring story does not disappoint her readers. It starts as Carlotta Walls is walking up the stairs at the young age of 14 for the first time with eight other black students on September 25th, 1957. 

As the story progresses, we as the reader can account for the hardships LaNier had to push through. Past the fuming citizens of Little Rock, and racist government officials, this book tells all what she had to accomplish while fighting for the rights of herself and education.  Overall, we can account for the strength and perseverance it took for such a young girl to change the lives of millions, of course with a little help from President Dwight D. Eisenhower. 

There is no doubt that LaNier’s book is inspiring, just as we are sure her visit to CCC will be. This is a massive puzzle piece to America’s history and is also how the Civil Rights Movement was pushed into the right direction. This memoir shines light on a time period when things weren’t as similar as to how they are now. As once said by The Associated Press, “LaNier tells her story with eloquence, dignity, and a riveting sense of urgency. A Mighty Long Way provides important context for an important moment in America’s history.”

Carlotta Walls LaNier will be joining us on campus October 30th, 2013 at 7pm, in the FPAC building. Admission is free so please take advantage! 


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