MLK Changed Hearts

I am sure many of you are familiar with this famous photograph above; it accounts for the emotional hate and southern rage held by many in the south during the 1950s — a decade in which the process of school integration was underway after the Brown v Board of Education case.

This is another iconic image of the 50’s segregation period. Elizabeth Eckford is one of the African American students known as the Little Rock Nine. On September 4, 1957, she and eight other African American students attempted to enter Little Rock Central High School, which had previously only accepted white students. They were stopped at the door by Arkansas National Guard troops called up by Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus. They tried again without success to attend Central High on September 23, 1957. The next day, September 24, President Dwight D. Eisenhower sent U.S. Army troops to accompany the Little Rock Nine to school for protection.

The thing is… she is not the subject of the photograph. Will Counts, the photographer shot Hazel Massery, the white girl shouting in front of the man. 40 years later she apologized to Elisabeth.

I got a chance to hear Massery speak about this picture and her hate; she stated that she is most ashamed of her past and that she works everyday to bring about racial and social change. This is most evident in how she has brought up her kids. She encourages interracial relationships and thinks that we are finally moving in the right direction.

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6 thoughts on “MLK Changed Hearts

  1. We really have, James. I love the fact that this women, a women filled with hate and anger toward other races, was able to overcome her prejudice. I think that her transformation really mimics a good portion of our nation.

  2. I’m sure you have seen the one where the white guy is using the flag as a spear against a black guy. Its another iconic and disturbing image.

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