Elizabeth And Hazel Story Humanizes Little Rock Nine Icon | Resurgence | Big Think


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“Two, four, six, eight, we don’t want to integrate!” The black and white picture from the fifties of a teenaged white girl yelling racial epithets at a young black coed who marches through an angry white mob to desegregate a Deep South high school in 1957 is world famous.

"I walked South on Park Street toward 14th Street until I got in front of the school. I walked across the street and started to go up on the sidewalk. About 12 members of the National Guard stood in front of the school along the sidewalk on the West side of Park Street. As I stepped from the street to go toward the sidewalk the National Guardsmen stood in front of me and would not let me pass them.

They held their rifles in front of them but did not point them at me. I tried once to walk around them and as I did they moved to the side in front of me and would not let me pass. They did not say anything to me and I did not say anything. I then walked back across Park Street to the East side and walked South again to the corner of 16th and Park Streets where I sat down on a bench.

I want to say there were white people all along the East side of Park Street as I walked along, and they moved along with me as I walked. Some of them followed me closely also.”

Statement by Elizabeth Eckford to FBI Special Agents Gilbert Strickland and Robert Hickam September 4, 1957

Not much was known about Elizabeth Eckford, a member of the Little Rock Nine, as the pioneering African American students who integrated Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas came to be known. Even less was known about Hazel Bryan, the young white girl who personified to the rest of the world all that was wrong with the South. Elizabeth And Hazel: Two Women of Little Rock by David Margolick attempts to fill in the blanks and tell us what has happened to these two women through the years.


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