Elizabeth and Hazel

Elizabeth, Hazel and Little Rock’s Central High in 1997One of the most famous photographs to come out of the Civil Rights era is of a young black girl, dressed in white, walking stoically in front of Little Rock Central High School, while behind her stands a white girl screaming racial epithets, her face twisted in rage. Elizabeth Eckford was one of “The Little Rock Nine” - the first black students chosen to integrate a southern white high school in 1957, with help from the National Guard. In 1962, Hazel Bryan Massery found Elizabeth Eckford in the phone book and apologized. Both tried to move on from the shameful moment of five years earlier but both found it difficult. The two women got together again during the 40th anniversary in 1997 for a very public reconciliation, even touring together for speaking engagements. Journalist David Margolick tells the history of their lives and complicated relationship in a new book titled Elizabeth and Hazel: Two Women of Little Rock.

Click here to read Margolick’s 2007 Vanity Fair article marking the 50th anniversary if the forced integration.