Elizabeth and Hazel

Elizabeth and Hazel

Two Women of Little Rock

Book - 2011
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"The names Elizabeth Eckford and Hazel Bryan Massery may not be well known, but the image of them from September 1957 surely is: a black high school girl, dressed in white, walking stoically in front of Little Rock Central High School, and a white girl standing directly behind her, face twisted in hate, screaming racial epithets. This famous photograph captures the full anguish of desegregation -- in Little Rock and throughout the South -- and an epic moment in the civil rights movement. In this gripping book, David Margolick tells the remarkable story of two separate lives unexpectedly braided together. He explores how the haunting picture of Elizabeth and Hazel came to be taken, its significance in the wider world, and why, for the next half-century, neither woman has ever escaped from its long shadow. He recounts Elizabeth's struggle to overcome the trauma of her hate-filled school experience, and Hazel's long efforts to atone for a fateful, horrible mistake. The book follows the painful journey of the two as they progress from apology to forgiveness to reconciliation and, amazingly, to friendship. This friendship foundered, then collapsed -- perhaps inevitably -- over the same fissures and misunderstandings that continue to permeate American race relations more than half a century after the unforgettable photograph at Little Rock. And yet, as Margolick explains, a bond between Elizabeth and Hazel, silent but complex, endures"--� Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New Haven, Conn. : Yale University Press, c2011
Description: 310 p. : ill. ; 24 cm
ISBN: 9780300141931
Branch Call Number: 379.263 Mar


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Oct 28, 2018

Elizabeth is one of the Little Rock Nine. Hazel is the white student hurling insults at her in the famous photo. The picture and the story of these two women explains the desegregation of Little Rock schools but also the bigger picture of race issues to this day. Both women shared their experiences with the author and got to know each other while he wrote the book. Definitely a must read.

ChristchurchLib Feb 16, 2016

In 1957 Little Rock, Arkansas, white residents vehemently opposed the integration of Central High School by the so-called Little Rock Nine. A famous photograph shows a black student, Elizabeth Eckford, being viciously heckled by a white teenager named Hazel Massery. In Elizabeth and Hazel, journalist David Margolick details their family backgrounds and vividly portrays the effects this confrontation had on the two women's lives. Eckford withdrew from society while Massery -- though initially unrepentant -- gradually changed her views. In this complex, thought-provoking story, sometimes hopeful and sometimes disturbing, a snapshot of the integration battles becomes an icon of the Civil Rights movement.

m2 Feb 02, 2012

Complex and beautiful and painful story of a photograph shot during the first day of school for the Little Rock Nine. How race still continues to divide us as Americans. Respectful author, fascinating subjects.

Oct 20, 2011

This is a very good book about the story behind the story of the integration of Little Rock's Central High School in 1957. The book is a quick read but it does well in capturing the chaos, fear and racism of the time. The two women profiled are portrayed in a way that we can understand and care about each of them. It's astounding that in later life they were able to become friends although they started out on opposite sides. It's sad that the friendship wasn't able to be sustained but the two women are survivors and they each do their part to try to fight the racism that still lingers long after CHS was integrated. Their willingness to work with the author on this book is another testament to their courage and honesty.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at BPL

To Top