The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.
Showing posts with label Elizabeth Eckford. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Elizabeth Eckford. Show all posts

Friday, September 4, 2015

Jon S. Randal: A Story of Civil Rights And Humanism

Larger Version

If you take a look at the image posted by Friend of the TPI, Jon S. Randal, and read his September 4th reflection on US History and the quest for Civil Rights, you may experience a warmed heart and quite probably a social epiphany.

"Don't let them see you cry." 

Jon S. Randal's photo.
On September 4, 1957, 15-year-old Elizabeth Eckford attempted to attend classes at Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas, which had become integrated following the results of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. As she tried to enter the school, soldiers of the National Guard, under orders from the Arkansas Governor, would step in her way to prevent her from entering. An angry mob of about 400 surrounded the school and soon started following Eckford, cursing and spitting at her, threatening to lynch her. She eventually gave up and ran to a nearby bus stop, she couldn't stop crying. A reporter, Benjamin Fine, having in mind his own 15-year-old daughter, sat down next to Eckford and tried to comfort her telling her, "don't let them see you cry."

The story of Elizabeth Eckford and Helen Bryan passed into US History in a manner not often observed nor experienced in our times.  

The piece linked below was published here on August 19th post. 

The short story? 

Bryan later in life sought-out Elizabeth Eckford and the fairy tale ending found them friends for life.  It is an intriguing story with many sidebars. 

Herewith is the piece we published on August 29, 2015.

Life Reflections Of A Southern Hater (Elizabeth Eckford And Hazel Bryan-Massery)


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Life Reflections Of A Southern Hater (Elizabeth Eckford And Hazel Bryan-Massery)

This piece is about life's reflections. Reflections and lessons of a hate filled racist who was as demonstrative in her resistance to Little Rock desegregation as any other in the roving yelling crowds. It seems Hazel Bryan-Massery, pictured in the action shots below in white shoes and a bright colored solid dress, 60 years later may have experienced a life changing paradigm shift. She apparently, after a major changes in her life and a period of assimilation, devoted parts of her life to working on social community programs in the African-American community. She and Eckford also experience an meeting of friendship that provided a form of closure of a "life reflection."


If you are a baby boomer or one who has studied US desegregation, you know the following images.  As we look back on the turbulent late 1950s to the mid 1960s, we often forget about Civil Rights heroes why were not martyred by racist enforcers in the US South. The Little Rock (Arkansas) Nine were a special breed of activist who were chosen to integrate Little Rock public schools. They were in part chosen based on their high intellect which manifest in the highest possible grades at other schools.

The Little Rock Nine
 Elizabeth EckfordRelated image 


Let's get a flavor for the hatred and aversion to the segregation force paradigm shift via old video.

Little Rock Nine

1957 The Little Rock Nine

If you look very closely at the 8:53 minute mark of the following video, you will find a fleeting glimpse of Hazel Bryan-Massery just before she commenced her hate fill harassment of one students. (Just before the guy with the plaid shirt and camera obliterated the view).  A former student of the school mentions a woman out of the crowd helped escort Eckford to a safe area. I wonder if the women pictured at that point in the video (10:08 mark) was the woman. If so, she was one who walked arm in arm with another white woman as Ms. Eckford walked her horrific path.

The Little Rock 9 - Arkansas 1957

Herewith is the Facebook post that caught my attention this early morning.

Darrick Newsome's photo.

September 4th, 1957 on the steps of Central High, hatred had a face and it was of a 15 year old high schooler named Hazel Bryan-Massery. Evil. Bigoted. History has shown that over the past 60 years Ms. Bryan-Massery has tried everything to buy back her humanity. She's worked with Black children. Coached unwed underprivileged mothers. Yet still, she is now and always will be defined by this iconic image. She, in 1957, was on the wrong side of history and sadly no amount of good works could ever bring her back. To all the confederate flag waving, gay-bashing, hate spewing people out there: beware. Facebook saves it all and iPhone screen shots last forever. 

Don't be Hazel Bryan. 

Don't be on the wrong side of history. 

Some never make it back.

A long but heartfelt piece from The Daily Kos