Wednesday, September 4, 2019

The Long Shadow of Little Rock: The Story of Elizabeth Eckford :: Civil Rights,

In 1950's America, there was a uprising that would sculpt the world into the place we now inhabit. The particular event in question is one concerning the black communities plight in 1950's America, with names such such as Rosa Parks, Emmett Till and (most importantly), Elizabeth Eckford Heading the list of names who took a stand, and, in turn, made America the place it is today. As the years went by, details of the many riots the segregation incurred were documented. The focus of this essay will be on a particular documentation titled 'The Long Shadow of Little Rock', a book published in 1962 on what happened to Elizabeth Eckford in Little Rock, Arkansas. However, just what can we learn from this Document? Firstly however, before we start, we need to scan the documentation, and see what Elizabeth Eckford's recreation of the day in question events was. The basic story she portrays, is that of her eventful first day at Little Rock High School. Elizabeth was one of 9 black students, specially selected by the colleges authorities, in a bid to banish racism within its high school. The reason Elizabeth was chosen was due to her amazing academic results. So, the plot is set, now we need to start the analysis. To start off with, we need to look for any obvious factors associated with the documentation that could affect the accuracy of the document. In the case of 'The Long Shadow of Little Rock' one of these obvious factors would be that this documentation was written by the victim. Now this factor is a double edged sword, Elizabeth could either be brutally honest about her plight (in the hope that somebody would listen), or she could exaggerate what actually happened in an attempt to shock the reader and in turn gain attention and support in the form of a higher authority. The second factor we can infer is that the crowd that greeted her was firstly bigger 'the crowd began to follow me', secondly she was in some way segregated from the other 8 black students to join on that day 'the crowd began to follow me' and last but not least we can infer (most importantly) that this 'mob' that had singled her out were violent white racists with quotes such as 'Lynch Her! Lynch Her!' coming from the crowd in pursuit of her. When we read further on into the text, we see just how massive a risk the college took by enrolling these 9 black students into their segregated school.

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