Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Little Rock, 1957

Part of what I do for a living involves laying out and composing college textbooks (typesetting).

I recently set a book that included this famous photo, and it stopped me in my seat in each phase of production. The caption read:

In a famous photograph, Elizabeth Eckford ignores the hateful taunts of whites who oppose her attending the previously all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas (circa 1957). ...(Photo credits go to Bettman/Corbis)

This photo moves me so. I have questions.

LOOK at the hatred in the white girls' eyes. Where are they now? Are they still alive? Have their opinions changed? Are they, or would they be ashamed to see this photo, or is their racism eternal?

Elizabeth Eckford: You look so proud: unaffected and dignified..and unshaken. It makes me shake to think about having been in your shoes this day; were you not terrified? Was the military presence any consolation?

I look at this photo, I want to weep, and say, "I'm sorry." Someone needs to, forgodsake.

(There's a lot of info on the internet regarding Ms. Eckford's walk, with 8 other black students on this day. I'm ignorant of this particular day in history. I'm going to read up.)


  1. "Are they, or would they be ashamed to see this photo, or is their racism eternal?"

    From the way the black people are being treated in New Orleans right now, I'd have to guess "yes."

  2. I know you wrote this over a year ago, but i was doing a web search on the topic and came across your post. ..
    I am a painter and I thought you might like to see the paintings I made inspired by these photos...
    you can see them here:


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