Hazel Massery

Hazel Massery

Hazel Massery (born Hazel Bryan) was a student at Little Rock Central High School during the 1950s. She was depicted in an iconic photograph that showed her shouting at Elizabeth Eckford, one of the Little Rock Nine, during the integration crisis. In her later life, she would work with Eckford to further the goals of racial harmony.

In 1998, Massery told "The Guardian", "I am not sure at that age what I thought, but probably I overheard that my father was opposed to integration.... But I don't think I was old enough to have any convictions of my own yet." Later in life she changed her mind; she had thought of Martin Luther King as a "trouble-maker", but realized "deep down in your soul, he was right". She took the initiative of contacting Eckford, leading to an "awkward" first meeting, but then a real friendship. Both women faced angry feelings from friends and relatives in Little Rock, which remains largely physically segregated. [cite news
title=PART 4: Militarism and mercenaries
author=Henry Liu
date=March 11 2005
publisher=Asia Times
Part of a series on non-military uses of military forces.

She appeared with Eckford and the rest of the Little Rock Nine on "The Oprah Winfrey Show", and at the 40th Anniversary Celebration of integration at Central High. The reunion provided an opportunity for acts of reconciliation, as noted in this editorial from the "Arkansas Democrat-Gazette" on the first day of 1998:

"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." [http://www.jenningsosbornefamily.com/news/itn0198.html Happy old year — Thank you for 1997] , editorial, "Arkansas Democrat-Gazette", January 1 1998]



External links

* [http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2007/09/littlerock_slideshow200709?slide=2 Alternate photograph] from a different angle, also taken by Will Counts.
* [http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2007/09/littlerock200709 Vanity Fair story on the desegregation of Little Rock Central High School]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Hazel (disambiguation) — Hazel may refer to: Contents 1 Plants and animals 2 Persons 3 Places 4 …   Wikipedia

  • Elizabeth Eckford — (born October 4, 1941 in Little Rock, Arkansas) is one of the African American students known as the Little Rock Nine. On September 4, 1957, she and eight other African American students attempted to enter Little Rock Central High School, which… …   Wikipedia

  • Arkansas Democrat-Gazette — Infobox Newspaper name = caption = The July 27, 2005 front page of the Arkansas Democrat Gazette type = Daily newspaper format = Broadsheet foundation = Democrat : 1878 Gazette : 1819 Democrat Gazette : 1991 owners = WEHCO Media, Inc.… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”