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 nation’s living rooms and brought international attention to the civil rights movement in Arkansas.
Because the city’s high schools were closed the following year, “The Lost Year,” 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 Don’t Cry: A Searing Memoir of the Battle to Integrate Little Rock’s Central High. New York: Washington Square Books, 1994.
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