Little Rock Nine: a flashpoint for the media in civil rights coverage

There’s a high probability many have seen the image above of a young black woman walking, sunglasses protecting her eyes — but perhaps not protecting them from the sun as much as from the mob surrounding her.

In the photograph, you’re able to see a white woman of the same age standing behind her almost ready to strike. Her teeth are clenched in mid-yell, her eyes pointed with anger, disgust.

Elizabeth Eckford is looking forward and Hazel Bryan looking right at her, a contrast for the world to see. Eckford was one of eight other black students, known as the Little Rock Nine, who were sent to an all-white school to test Arkansas’ supposed intention to integrate its schools.

The day after the incident, the photograph, taken by photojournalist Will Counts, ran on the front page of the Arkansas Democrat, according to Count’s photo and a similar photo taken by the Associated Press quickly spread throughout the United States. Putting a face, or rather two faces, on the battle for school desegregation.

Read the full post on the White House & The Press website

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