November 6, 2011
BOOK OF THE WEEK: FORTY-FIVE, 2011
David Margolick, Elizabeth and Hazel: Two Women of Little Rock (New Haven & London: Yale U. Press, 2011) ("Life Is More Than a Moment." Id. at 242. From the bookjacket: "Elizabeth and Hazel is about the lives of two central figures in one of the most harrowing and instantly recognizable photographs of the civil rights era: the picture, taken on September 4, 1957, of Elizabeth Eckford, immaculate in a handmade white cotton pique skirt and blouse, trying to enter, and desegregate, Little Rock Central High School, while an angry white girl, Hazel Bryan, shouts racial epithets at her from behind. The book traces the worlds, completely separate but in some ways very similar, from which these two fifteen-year-old girls came; the racial attitudes that permeated those worlds; how the famous picture came to be taken (and by whom), and the impact it would have, far beyond Little Rock and in the lives of the two women themselves. It recounts the nightmarish experience that Eckford, one of the 'Little Rock Nine' who desegregated Central, went on to have that year, and the way in which it has haunted her ever since. And it relates the very different way in which it affected Hazel, who tried mightily to transcend the photograph but could never fully escape it shadow." Also see, Amy Finnerty, "Aftermath," NYT Book Review, Sunday, 10/9/2011.).