Elizabeth Ann Eckford was fifteen years old when she volunteered to help integrate Central High School. A photograph by Will Counts of Eckford being followed by an angry crowd is one of the most infamous and startling images of the civil rights movement. The coverage of the integration propelled Little Rock into into the nationâ€™s living rooms and brought international attention to the civil rights movement in Arkansas.
Because the cityâ€™s high schools were closed the following year, â€śThe Lost Year,â€ť Eckford took correspondence and night courses. She earned enough credits to receive her diploma. She attended Knox College and later Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio. Eckford has a Bachelor of Arts degree in history. She also served in the U.S. Army for five years, as a pay clerk and information specialist. Eckford has held various jobs throughout her life including working as a history teacher and several state employment positions. She currently works as a probation officer in Little Rock.
Her thoughts for the Future
“If we have honestly acknowledged our painful, but shared past, then- we can have reconciliation”
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Beals, Melba Pattillo. Warriors Donâ€™t Cry: A Searing Memoir of the Battle to Integrate Little Rockâ€™s Central High. New York: Washington Square Books, 1994.
Counts, Will. A Life is More Than a Moment. Indiana University Press: Bloomington and Indianapolis, 1999.
Journey to Little Rock: The Untold Story of Minnijean Brown Trickey. Dir. Rob Thompson. North East Productions, 2002. DVD.
LaNier, Carlotta Walls, and Lisa Frazier Page. A Mighty Long Way: My Journey to Justice at Little Rock Central High School. New York: One World/Ballantine, 2009.
Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site Visitor Center. Little Rock, Arkansas. http://www.nps.gov/chsc/ (accessed June 16, 2012).
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