Elizabeth Eckford, a civil rights pioneer
September 27, 2007
Another one of my favorite podcasts is NPR's Driveway Moments. On September 4, 2007, NPR broadcast a story about Elizabeth Eckford, one of the 9 brave students who became known as the Little Rock 9 were pioneers integrating Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1957.
Elizabeth was 15 at the time and is now 65 and still has trouble talking about her experience to this day. At the age of 15 she was vilified, castigated, spat upon, jeered, and harassed. We like to think of ourselves as a wonderful nation, land of the free and home of the brave, etc. but this self concept is more an idealization than a reality. We, Americans, have a long way to go to actualize our ideals.
It is important to remember, and pay tribute to the brave citizens who have helped us become a better people. Below is a short blurb from the NPR Driveway moment web site. You can listen to the audio clip by going to the web site by clicking on the link below. The clip is about 9 minutes and is well worth listening to.
A half-century ago, Arkansas Gov. Orval Faubus ordered troops from the Arkansas National Guard to Central High School because the Little Rock School Board had decided to allow nine black students to attend the previously all-white school. One of those students, Elizabeth Eckford, recalls that time.