Sunday, September 18, 2011

Making a Difference

I found this article on a terrifice site called "cool chicks from history". I would like to think that at least once in my life, I would have this kind of courage to stand up for justice.

Fifteen year old Elizabeth Eckford (pictured) should have been part of a group of nine students, but at the last minute the NAACP delayed the integration because they believed the governor was going to bring in the Arkansas National Guard to prevent their enrollment. Elizabeth was the only one would didn’t get the message and showed up for school that day.

Elizabeth arrived to find an angry mob and no organized protection. Grace Lorch (pictured), a 50 something white member of the NAACP, dropped her daughter off at junior high that morning and stopped by the high school to see what was going on. Grace found Elizabeth on her own and escorted her to her mother’s workplace via a city bus.

Think for a second about what it must have been like to have been either of those women. Elizabeth was only 15 years old and a historic event rested on her bravery. One of six children, her mother taught in a segregated school for blind and deaf children while her father worked nights for the railroad. Either of them could have lost their jobs over her enrollment at Central High. Their house could have been firebombed, they could have been killed. All for going to school.

Grace was a serious social justice advocate, both she and her husband had lost jobs over their activism. That day she told the crowd they would be ashamed of themselves in six months and if anyone touched her she would punch them in the nose. Grace wasn’t an armed National Guard, but she was one tough lady.

1 comment:

AutumnLeaves said...

I hadn't heard of this story, Paula, and I must say it gave me goosebumps. Yay for strong and wise women!