LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – It has been 65 years since Elizabeth Eckford had her first day of school with eight other teenagers, known as the Little Rock Nine.
Monday, she came back to the school to speak to the student body for the first time.
Today, it is a peaceful place, but 65 years ago, it was anything but that.
“I have to be cautious about talking about change because sometime when you talk about change too optimistically it overshadows the difficulties that continue,” said member of the Little Rock Nine, Elizabeth Eckford.
After so many years, Elizabeth Eckford retraced her steps.
This time, to speak to the students at Central High School.
“It was a thrill for me, it really was, it is something I had hoped for a while and I was pleased with their attentiveness and they considered the subject seriously,” said Eckford.
Students were captivated by her words.
“I think having her come and speak and watch videos about her and the experience that she went through, I think we still have to talk about it because there are people who still don’t know,” said student at Central High School, Elyse Wafer.
To round out Elizabeth Eckford’s time at Central High, a group of artists dedicated a mural to her.
“We were inspired by Elizabeth Eckford and the trauma she endured during her first few days, or just her whole year here and then the legacy that she left behind and the fact that the only reason we are able to live in learn in such diversity is because of her,” said artist of the mural and student at Central High School, Zoya Khan.
“To me of course it’s a symbol of liberty and the possibility of equal rights and then there is that 15 year old teenager with her binder close to her chest as a shield sometimes,” said Eckford.
Elizabeth Eckford also spoke about her book “The Worst First Day”, about her first day at Central High School.
If you are interested in more information about her book you can buy it here.