The image is startling, even horrifying. A dignified, well-dressed black girl walks calmly through a gauntlet of white people trying to prevent her from integrating Central High School in Little Rock, Ark. Directly behind her is a white girl with hate in her eyes and venom spewing from her mouth. The date is Sept. 4, 1957.
Along with other news photos conveying the drama of the civil rights movement of the ’50s and ’60s - from Sheriff Bull Connor’s ferocious police dogs attacking black demonstrators in Birmingham, Ala., to Martin Luther King Jr.’s triumphant “I Have a Dream’’ oratory in the nation’s capital - this one in Little Rock would remain an iconic image fixed in our collective memory. It would also haunt the lives of the two people pictured.