Inspirational Women, MOcha Gems

Elizabeth Eckford

Elizabeth Eckford-featured in one of the most iconic photos from the Civil Rights Era

Today’s Phenomenal Woman:

Elizabeth Eckford (October 4, 1941)

 

  • part of the “Little Rock Nine”- Nine black students chosen to integrate Little Rock Central High School which was the first major high school in the south to be desegregated due to the Supreme Court ruling in Brown vs. the Board of Education
  • At 15 years old, she volunteered to be a part of this group to integrate Little Rock High
  • Endured many hardships and bullying while at Little Rock. Little Rock public schools were closed the year after this desegregation attempt so Elizabeth had to finish her high school education using tutors and night school.
  • She became depressed following this incident and attempted suicide on several occasions. She battled depression well into her adult years causing her not to participate in many events that commemorated “Little Rock Nine”
  • Attempts to reconcile with the woman (Hazel) featured yelling at her in the photo were unsuccessful. Both women agreed to meet on various occasions, even did a reconciliation tour together, but things soon fell apart

True reconciliation can occur only when we honestly acknowledge our painful, but shared, past.” – Elizabeth Eckford.

 

Sources: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/8813134/Elizabeth-Eckford-and-Hazel-Bryan-the-story-behind-the-photograph-that-shamed-America.html

http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2007/09/littlerock200709

 

 

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