Photo 7: One of the "Little Rock Nine" braves a jeering crowd.
On September 4, 1957, an angry crowd of spectators greeted the African-American students as they attempted to attend Central High School for the first time. Elizabeth Eckford, who had not received a message to meet the other students, tried to enter the school by herself. Alone in a large crowd of hostile, jeering people, her attempts to enter the school were blocked by the Arkansas National Guard. She finally gave up and sat down at a bus stop enduring harassment from the mob until a white man and woman got her onto a bus and out of the area.
Television was a recent presence in American households at the time of the Central High School desegregation episode. Across the nation, in the newspapers and on television, Americans watched Little Rock's angry mob bar the entrance of Central High School to African-American students.
Questions for Photo 7
1. How do you think the media attention might have affected events at Little Rock Central High? Do you think the media attention would have made it easier or harder for the nine students integrating the school? Explain your answer.
2. How do you think Elizabeth Eckford felt at the time this photo was taken?
* The photo on the screen has a resolution of 72 dots per inch (dpi), and therefore will print poorly. You can obtain a high quality version of Photo 7, but be aware that the file will take as much as two minutes to load with a 28.8K modem.