Thursday, May 03, 2007

A Life is More Than a Moment

"I still find it difficult to believe that this display of racial hatred was happening in front of my high school and my camera." -- photographer Will Counts from his book, "A Life is More Than a Moment."

The front page of the Style section in today's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette has a feature about Will Counts, the photographer who caught this well-known image and many others during the Little Rock's desegregation crisis in the late 1950s.

These pictures remind me that although our country has always held freedom in the highest esteem, so many of us -- over the past 200 years or so -- have not understood what freedom is really supposed to be.

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  • At Thu May 03, 10:45:00 AM, Blogger Beverly said…

    just silence, just silence for those who suffered at the hand of hate and those who continue to..yep, Deana let us not forget...

    Have I ever told you my grandfather and George Washington Carver were best friends in Alabama? My mom has memories watching them arm in arm after sharing some time together in Carver's office in Tuskegee. She has great stories. I like to think my grandfather embraced love for all mankind at a time when some were unsure and afraid. Great post.

  • At Thu May 03, 11:23:00 AM, Blogger Kelly said…

    I still find it shocking that there was segregation like that just in my parent's lifetime! That was not long ago at all.

  • At Thu May 03, 03:01:00 PM, Blogger Brian said…

    That picture was in my high school history book. I couldn't believe the anger in that lady's face.

    I wonder if she is still alive. I wonder if she regrets have done what she did to those people.

  • At Thu May 03, 04:35:00 PM, Blogger Deana Nall said…

    Brian -- Hazel Massery (the yelling white girl) and Elizabeth Eckford, the black girl trying to enter Little Rock's Central High School that day, met on Oprah in 1996. Massery apologized and the two women are friends. The women also attended the 40th anniversary of the desgregation crisis in 1997. Here's part of an editorial from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette when it recapped the biggest news stories of 1997:

    "One of the fascinating stories to come out of the reunion was the apology that Hazel Bryan Massery made to Elizabeth Eckford for a terrible moment caught forever by the camera. That 40-year-old picture of hate assailing grace — which had gnawed at Ms. Massery for decades — can now be wiped clean, and replaced by a snapshot of two friends. The apology came from the real Hazel Bryan Massery, the decent woman who had been hidden all those years by a fleeting image. And the graceful acceptance of that apology was but another act of dignity in the life of Elizabeth Eckford."

  • At Fri May 04, 03:08:00 PM, Blogger Blogging by Tina said…

    Good for both Hazel and Elizabeth.

  • At Fri May 04, 03:09:00 PM, Blogger Blogging by Tina said…

    Wow . . . it just occurred to me that this fall it will be 50 years since that happened.

    I would like to think we have come a long way in 50 years.

    But I'm not sure if we've come far enough.


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