In 1957, Little Rock, Arkansas became the first battleground in the fight to integrate public schools. On a September morning, nine African American students tried to enroll for class at a local high school and were confronted by the National Guard as well as an angry, vocal mob. A local photojournalist named Will Counts snapped the above picture that morning as one of the students arrived at the school, forever immortalizing the two women caught in its frame; Hazel Bryant (left) and Elizabeth Eckford. Instantly, this image became one of the most iconic photos of the Civil Rights era.
Last night, there was a story on the PBS Newshour about these two women and the surprising lives they've lead, both separately and together, since that fateful day in 1957. The story was tagged to a new book that's out from writer David Margolick which tells their unusual story over the past 50-odd years entitled ELIZABETH AND HAZEL. Also, you can read a lengthy excerpt from the book that was published in VANITY FAIR earlier this fall. It's a fascinating story of two lives randomly caught in a moment of history and how that experience has affected them ever since.
Watch Book Tells How Iconic Civil Rights Era Photo Changed Lives of 2 Women on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.