I'm not posting this out of any real photographic merit, but as is my style, historical merit abounds. This is a shot of Little Rock Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. A typical high school building of the 1920s, it still stands in continuous use, largely due to its central role in one of the great dramas of the American Civil Rights movement, the Little Rock Nine school integration.
In 1954, the US Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling called Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas. The ruling reversed decades of 'Jim Crow' - black/white segregation - laws in the US by stating that separate school facilities for black and white students violated to Equal Protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and was therefore unconstitutional. While many southern districts complied immediately with the ruling, many others did not.
Little Rock was actually a rather progressive community in terms of its race relations, and the school board planned to slowly desegregate, starting with the high school and working its way down. Nine top academic African American students were chosen to be the first to be enrolled at Central High. There was backlash from the community, however, and the Governor of the state - a moderate named Orval Faubus - realized his re-election chances were quite small unless he played to the more conservative, pro-segregation factions in his state's electorate. He decided to take a stand at Central High, and deployed the state National Guard to 'keep order', with orders to admit only white students to the school.
Eight of the nine black enrolled students met at a pre-arranged location that day, and were turned away. The ninth had missed the call arranging the meetup, and she arrived alone to face an angry white mob who shouted epithets at her, threatened her, and harassed her as she walked right down the street pictured here. Eventually a woman in the crowd escorted her away, but Elizabeth Eckford was scarred by the experience for life.
Eventually, US President Eisenhower deployed the 101st Airborne to Little Rock to enforce segregation. The students were admitted, and though they did face constant harassment in school, they also had a deep impact on the Little Rock community and on the nation's race relations. Little Rock was one of the earliest battles in the Civil Right movement, which would end with the successful destruction of Jim Crow in the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the protection of voting rights in the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
Tomorrow I'll post a shot of the statue to the Little Rock Nine on the grounds of - you guessed it - the Arkansas State Capitol.
Critiques | Translate
rogerl (1544) 2013-04-30 5:59
Andrew, great note on this shot. I remember this happening, but most of the people here probably do not. The school is nicely framed by the symmetric flagpoles, and is overall amazingly symmetric - trees left and right, bushes near the steps. I'm surprised you managed to get this with no people in the view. I might have tried to lighten the building itself up a little bit.
macjake (56538) 2013-04-30 6:30
thats very deep and heavy reading material at 630 in the morning!! haha
but for sure such an important piece of history.
Its hard to believe that such 'times' were really not that long ago. We're not talking medieval times or anything here, this is really just a few decades ago!
For the historical point of view, which I know you love, I think this is a fantastic post for TE.
this is apart of everyone's history, and subsequent future too.
wonderful idea to post this school.
snunney (83729) 2013-04-30 6:39
This was a story that made the news around the world, even I recall it from the tender age of seven. A fine homage.
mjw364 (7434) 2013-04-30 7:11
A symmetrical shot of a fascinating building architecturally. They certainly don't make 'em like that anymore. However, it is even more interesting given your note on the history of the place. Learning is what TE is all about. Thanks
pajaran (52050) 2013-04-30 7:15
Vrlo interesantan i dobar tekst sa datim podacima ...
Dobar snimak, kontrast, lepe boje.
Dobra kompozicija, lepo pokazna arhitektura.
Imajte lep i uspesan dan, sve najbolje.
Very interesting and good text with the given data ...
Good picture, contrast, beautiful colors.
Good composition, nice demonstration architecture.
Have a great and successful day, all the best.
Noel_Byrne (24263) 2013-04-30 7:37
The style of building drew me into the shot, as its a very American looking style, and a very imposing and impressive building, which I like a lot. To be honest, I do also think this would make a very cool haunted place too!
Your note is excellent, and I have heard of the event here before. So great to see these places where these important moments happened. Look forward to seeing your upcoming shot of the statue too.
Cheers for sharing a cool TE contribution!
All the best
manrezaei (1837) 2013-04-30 9:01
Very nice shot. I like the beautiful architecture you captured here. The composition, contrast and lights superbly managed.
JFS (32459) 2013-04-30 10:19
Excellent presentation for this curious brick building, pity the sun do not hit on it.
holmertz (41017) 2013-04-30 10:44
Since TE is about learning about the world through photography, not really giving smileys to the most beautiful sceneries, this is a perfect contribution to the site. I am also old enough to remember Little Rock clearly, so seeing this school is quite interesting. It's a good and very symmetric photo, and it's not your fault that the building looks a bit like a prison. But definitely the note is more interestng than the picture.
danos (86691) 2013-04-30 11:29
nice the view of this old building used as High School in Little Rock.I like the panoramic view of it,
the informative note about it, as the light and the colour management of the scene.
bukitgolfb301 (35916) 2013-04-30 15:54
Hi dear Andrew
So stable and solemn architecture in perfect stable synmetrical format. Great ashot as usual.
Thanks a lot and have a good day!
Takero from tokyo
maloutim (9637) 2013-05-01 2:15
Very pleased to find this very interesting post about a historical place I had heard of in Bill Clinton's autobiography :"My life".
Great note and good capture of the High school with the typical American architecture, as mentioned in one of the critiques.
I am sending a WS in which I have brightened the building a little. I hope you like it.
marabu61 (8385) 2013-05-01 7:34
To think that such events of racism even in free America happened during our own lifetime is quite disturbing. OK, I was born in 1961 only so it was a bit before my time. Good for all of us that this is the past (or is it really the past ....?)
The building of the school looks quite solemn and severe still today.
Great and very informative note on an landmark event in Americas segration history.
have a good day
Miguel82 (23367) 2013-05-01 9:54
Excellent frame, good pov and presentation this building
Good light and colors
pierrefonds (56973) 2013-05-03 16:58
The distance between the street and the building is giving depth to the composition. The point of view is showing the details and colours of the architecture of the Central High School. A good management of the strong light which does not hurt to much the ouput of the colours. Have a nice day.
- Copyright: Andrew Lipsett (ACL1978) (7467)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2013-02-19
- Camera: Nikon D3100, Nikkor 18-105 1:3.5-5.6 G ED VR
- Exposure: f/4.8, 1/400 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
- Travelogue: Tennessee & Arkansas, February 2013
- Theme(s): Flags, Historical [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2013-04-30 4:54