Little Rock Girl 1957: How a Photograph Changed the Fight for Integration (Captured History)
Nine African American students made history when they defied a governor and integrated an Arkansas high school in 1957. It was the photo of a young girl trying to enter the school being taunted, harassed and threatened by an angry mob that grabbed the world's attention and kept its disapproving gaze on Little Rock, Arkansas. In defiance of a federal court order, Governor Orval Faubus called in the National Guard to prevent the students from entering all white Central High School. The plan had been for the students to meet and go to school as a group on September 4, 1957. But one student didn't hear of the plan and tried to enter the school alone. A chilling photo by newspaper photographer Will Counts captured the sneering expression of a girl in the mob and made history. Years later Counts snapped another photo, this one of the same two girls, now grownup, reconciling in front of Central High School.
Iconic photos are so familiar to us that we can easily forget the images were taken of real human beings. This series tells the stories of the people in these famous photos; the life of the photographers before and after their fame; and the lasting effects the photos had on our culture. Most of the photographers say they were in the right place at the right time. Some photos inspired novels; Dorothea Lange's image of a migrant worker mother and her two (of 10) children moved John Steinbeck to write The Grapes of Wrath. The photographers were on assignments from a magazine, the government or news organizations, for the most part. Sometimes the subjects and photographers were one in the same such as the Apollo astronauts. The text in this series is as fascinating as the images. While most of the photos are black and white, they are large and crisp, showing lots of detail. Child labor, segregation, poverty, war, and death are not themes for young children. But, this is part of our American history that you may not see in a history text. I found them just fascinating! ~Sara 9" x 10" 64pp, sc. ~ Sara