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Race & Ethnicity

Elizabeth Eckford made history at age 15. Here's the full story behind the iconic photo.

Elizabeth Eckford made history at age 15. Here's the full story behind the iconic photo.

15-year-old Elizabeth Eckford was one of the Little Rock Nine who attended the first integrated high school in Arkansas.

On September 4, 1957, nine students arrived at Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas for their first day of school. They were bright students, chosen for their academic excellence to attend the most prestigious school in the state. They were there to learn—and to make history as the first Black students to attend the previously all-white school.

They wouldn't enter the school that day, nor for weeks after. Their entrance was barred not only by an angry white mob but by the Arkansas National Guard who were called in by the governor to prevent the students from integrating the school.

Eight of the nine arrived together that first day in a carpool arranged by the local NAACP chapter. One student, 15-year-old Elizabeth Eckford, didn't have a telephone at home and was unable to be reached to learn about the carpool plan. She took the city bus, which dropped her off within two blocks of the school. As she approached, she faced the racist crowd alone.


One photo encapsulated much—but not all—of the moment. We see Eckford being followed by a group of angry white segregationists, but we can't see that they were yelling, "Lynch her! Lynch her!" We can see the Arkansas National Guard, but we can't see that President Eisenhower would have to call in federal troops weeks later to finally get the students into the building. We see Elizabeth Eckford walking with her head high, but we can't see the courage and resolve it took her not to walk through a crowd of people threatening to kill her just for wanting to go to school.

We see a snapshot of a horrific moment in American history, but we can't see what happened after.

After being barred entrance to the school, Eckford tried to return home, but she was unable to go back to the bus stop where she'd been dropped off due to the 250 or so angry white people behind her. She decided to try to get to the next bus stop a block ahead of her.

Buddy Lonesome of the St. Louis Argus described what he had witnessed at the scene: "The mob of twisted whites, galvanized into vengeful action by the inaction of the heroic state militia, was not willing that the young school girl should get off so easily. Elizabeth Eckford had walked into the wolf's lair, and now that they felt she was fair game, the drooling wolves took off after their prey. The hate mongers, who look exactly like other, normal white men and women, took off down the street after the girl."

She would get home eventually. At first, she sat on the edge of the bus stop bench as someone yelled "Drag her over to this tree!" A small group of journalists formed a makeshift barrier between her and the crowd. New York Times reporter Benjamin Fine sat down next to her, put his arm around her and said, "Don't let them see you cry." Later, after being asked if he'd overstepped his professional bounds, Fine replied, "A reporter has to be a human being."

A white woman, Grace Lorch, escorted Eckford onto the bus, but not before she told the crowd that they'd all be ashamed of themselves someday. Eckford was relieved when Lorch got off the bus; her help, though undoubtedly well-intentioned, had only inflamed the hatred of the crowd. (Lorch and her husband would eventually move their family to Canada after facing harassment, job losses, and accusations of being communists for their civil rights activism.)

After exiting the bus, Eckford immediately went to find her mother. She fell into her arms and the two cried together, neither saying a word.

What about the student yelling at Eckford in the photo? Her name was Hazel Bryan—later becoming Hazel Massery. She was the daughter of parents who were unabashed about their racism.

Massery would have a change of heart in the years that followed. She became a follower of the civil rights movement and began to understand how wrong she had been. In 1962 or 1963, she called Eckford to apologize. But she didn't stop there. She left her intolerant church, volunteered with projects to serve underprivileged Black students and single Black mothers, read the works of Cornel West and Shelby Steele and argued about racial issues with her mother.

Eventually, Massery and Eckford realized they had a lot in common as individuals and became friends. They even appeared together on The Oprah Winfrey Show and talked about reconciliation. But the friendship did not last. The rest of the Little Rock Nine had never been fans of the friendship, nor of Massery's appearance at public events about their history. Massery seems to have felt frustrated that Eckford wouldn't absolve her completely of her past racist behavior, and she ultimately cut off ties with her.

Ten years ago, David Margolick, who had interviewed both women multiple times over the years, asked Eckford and Massery to pose together for one last photo. Eckford agreed, but Massery refused.

Both Eckford and Massery are still alive. Eckford celebrated her 80th birthday in October with a small celebration in front of Central High School, with student members of the Civil Rights Memory Project and faculty there to honor her. This is not history from some far distant era. People are alive who saw it happen with their own eyes.

And this isn't even the full scope of the story. The Little Rock Nine spent the school year being brutally harassed even after they were finally allowed into the building. And both Eckford and Massery's stories include many more details, which David Margolick has covered in Vanity Fair and Slate. His storytelling illustrates how the story behind the iconic photo is worse (at the time) and more complex (in the long run) than the simplistic narratives we often hear about the civil rights era and are definitely worth a read.

How does Eckford feel about the photo? She told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that she sometimes feels nothing when she sees it and sometimes it bowls her over. But she's never felt good about the photo, nor does she see herself in it the way others do.

"They talk about it as strength," she said, "But I've never considered myself a strong person."

Fair enough. No one should ever have to be strong like that in the first place, especially at 15. May we all remember and learn from this history, and keep working toward a future where racism is truly and fully overcome.

Sponsored

3 organic recipes that feed a family of 4 for under $7 a serving

O Organics is the rare brand that provides high-quality food at affordable prices.

A woman cooking up a nice pot of pasta.

Over the past few years, rising supermarket prices have forced many families to make compromises on ingredient quality when shopping for meals. A recent study published by Supermarket News found that 41% of families with children were more likely to switch to lower-quality groceries to deal with inflation.

By comparison, 29% of people without children have switched to lower-quality groceries to cope with rising prices.

Despite the current rising costs of groceries, O Organics has enabled families to consistently enjoy high-quality, organic meals at affordable prices for nearly two decades. With a focus on great taste and health, O Organics offers an extensive range of options for budget-conscious consumers.

O Organics launched in 2005 with 150 USDA Certified Organic products but now offers over 1,500 items, from organic fresh fruits and vegetables to organic dairy and meats, organic cage-free certified eggs, organic snacks, organic baby food and more. This gives families the ability to make a broader range of recipes featuring organic ingredients than ever before.


“We believe every customer should have access to affordable, organic options that support healthy lifestyles and diverse shopping preferences,” shared Jennifer Saenz, EVP and Chief Merchandising Officer at Albertsons, one of many stores where you can find O Organics products. “Over the years, we have made organic foods more accessible by expanding O Organics to every aisle across our stores, making it possible for health and budget-conscious families to incorporate organic food into every meal.”

With some help from our friends at O Organics, Upworthy looked at the vast array of products available at our local store and created some tasty, affordable and healthy meals.

Here are 3 meals for a family of 4 that cost $7 and under, per serving. (Note: prices may vary by location and are calculated before sales tax.)

O Organic’s Tacos and Refried Beans ($6.41 Per Serving)

Few dishes can make a family rush to the dinner table quite like tacos. Here’s a healthy and affordable way to spice up your family’s Taco Tuesdays.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 22 minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 packet O Organics Taco Seasoning ($2.29)

O Organics Mexican-Style Cheese Blend Cheese ($4.79)

O Organics Chunky Salsa ($3.99)

O Organics Taco Shells ($4.29)

1 can of O Organics Refried Beans ($2.29)

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Add 1 packet of taco seasoning to beef along with water [and cook as directed].

3. Add taco meat to the shell, top with cheese and salsa as desired.

4. Heat refried beans in a saucepan until cooked through, serve alongside tacos, top with cheese.

tacos, o organics, family recipesO Organics Mexican-style blend cheese.via O Organics

O Organics Hamburger Stew ($4.53 Per Serving)

Busy parents will love this recipe that allows them to prep in the morning and then serve a delicious, slow-cooked stew after work.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 7 hours

Total time: 7 hours 15 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 ½ lbs O Organics Gold Potatoes ($4.49)

3 O Organics Carrots ($2.89)

1 tsp onion powder

I can O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 cups water

1 yellow onion diced ($1.00)

1 clove garlic ($.50)

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 tsp Italian seasoning or oregano

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Transfer the cooked beef to a slow cooker with the potatoes, onions, carrots and garlic.

3. Mix the tomato paste, water, salt, pepper, onion powder and Italian seasoning in a separate bowl.

4. Drizzle the mixed sauce over the ingredients in the slow cooker and mix thoroughly.

5. Cover the slow cooker with its lid and set it on low for 7 to 8 hours, or until the potatoes are soft. Dish out into bowls and enjoy!

potatoes, o organics, hamburger stewO Organics baby gold potatoes.via O Organics


O Organics Ground Beef and Pasta Skillet ($4.32 Per Serving)

This one-pan dish is for all Italian lovers who are looking for a saucy, cheesy, and full-flavored comfort dish that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Total time: 27 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp garlic powder

1 can O Organics Diced Tomatoes ($2.00)

1 can O Organics Tomato Sauce ($2.29)

1 tbsp O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 1/4 cups water

2 cups O Organics Rotini Pasta ($3.29)

1 cup O Organics Mozzarella cheese ($4.79)

Instructions:

1. Brown ground beef in a skillet, breaking it up as it cooks.

2. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder

3. Add tomato paste, sauce and diced tomatoes to the skillet. Stir in water and bring to a light boil.

4. Add pasta to the skillet, ensuring it is well coated. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Remove the lid, sprinkle with cheese and allow it to cool.

o organics, tomato basil pasta sauce, olive oilO Organics tomato basil pasta sauce and extra virgin olive oil.via O Organics

Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Van Gogh’s Starry Night.


Van Gogh never got to enjoy his own historic success as an artist (even though we've been able to imagine what that moment might have looked like). But it turns out that those of us who have appreciated his work have been missing out on some critical details for more than 100 years.

I'm not easily impressed, OK?

I know Van Gogh was a genius. If the point of this were "Van Gogh was a mad genius," I would not be sharing this with you.

But I found this and I thought, "Oh, what a vaguely interesting thing." And then I got to the part about the Hubble Space Telescope, and, let me tell you: Mind. Blown.

We've got the set up here, but you have to watch the video for the full effect. It's all the way at the bottom.

Get this: Van Gogh was a pretty cool artist (duh), but as it turns out...

painting, science, psychotic

What’s the truth behind when you take off an ear?

assets.rebelmouse.io

...he was also A SCIENTIST!*

*Pretty much.

Here's the story.

While Van Gogh was in an asylum in France, after he mutilated his ear during a psychotic episode*...

(*Or, and I'd like to thank the entire Internet for pointing this out, there's a theory that his friend Paul Gauguin actually cut off his ear, in a drunken sword fight, in the dark. The more you know!)

science, premonition, predictions

Animated a thinking one-eared Van Gogh.

All Van Gogh GIFs via TED-Ed.

...he was able to capture one of science's most elusive concepts:

~~~TURBULENCE~~~

research, studied, proof, genius

Animated "Starry Night."

assets.rebelmouse.io

turbulence, fluid dynamics, energy cascade

Turbulence expressed through art.

assets.rebelmouse.io

Although it's hard to understand with math (like, REALLY HARD), it turns out that art makes it easy to depict how it LOOKS.

So what is turbulence?

Turbulence, or turbulent flow, is a concept of fluid dynamics where fluid movements are "self-similar" when there's an energy cascade — so basically, big eddies make smaller eddies, and those make even smaller ones ... and so on and so forth.

It looks like this:

figures, explanation, education, community

Pictures explain science.

assets.rebelmouse.io

See? It's easier to look at pictures to understand it.

Thing is, scientists are pretty much *just* starting to figure this stuff out.

reference, research, wisdom

Animation of referencing art to science.

assets.rebelmouse.io

Then you've got Van Gogh, 100 years earlier, in his asylum, with a mutilated ear, who totally nailed it!

illumination, luminance, pulsing

Science studying Van Gogh.

assets.rebelmouse.io

The folks who noticed Van Gogh's ability to capture turbulence checked to see whether other artists did the same. Most impressionists achieved " luminance" with their art (which is the sort-of *pulsing* you see when you look at their paintings that really shows what light looks like).

But did other artists depict turbulence the way Van Gogh did?

NOPE.

The Scream, historical, popular, famous

Animated “The Scream."

assets.rebelmouse.io

Not even "The Scream" could hold a candle to Van Gogh!

technology, star turbulence, sky, astronomy

Capturing concepts of nature.

assets.rebelmouse.io

Even in his darkest time, Van Gogh was able to capture — eerily accurately — one of nature's most complex and confusing concepts ... 100 years before scientists had the technology to observe actual star turbulence and realize its similarity to fluid turbulence mathematics as well as Van Gogh's swirling sky. Cool, huh?

Watch the video below to learn even more:

This article originally appeared on 11.14.14

Images provided by P&G

Three winners will be selected to receive $1000 donated to the charity of their choice.

True

Doing good is its own reward, but sometimes recognizing these acts of kindness helps bring even more good into the world. That’s why we’re excited to partner with P&G again on the #ActsOfGood Awards.

The #ActsOfGood Awards recognize individuals who actively support their communities. It could be a rockstar volunteer, an amazing community leader, or someone who shows up for others in special ways.

Do you know someone in your community doing #ActsOfGood? Nominate them between April 24th-June 3rdhere.Three winners will receive $1,000 dedicated to the charity of their choice, plus their story will be highlighted on Upworthy’s social channels. And yes, it’s totally fine to nominate yourself!

We want to see the good work you’re doing and most of all, we want to help you make a difference.

While every good deed is meaningful, winners will be selected based on how well they reflect Upworthy and P&G’s commitment to do #ActsOfGood to help communities grow.

That means be on the lookout for individuals who:

Strengthen their community

Make a tangible and unique impact

Go above and beyond day-to-day work

The #ActsOfGood Awards are just one part of P&G’s larger mission to help communities around the world to grow. For generations, P&G has been a force for growth—making everyday products that people love and trust—while also being a force for good by giving back to the communities where we live, work, and serve consumers. This includes serving over 90,000 people affected by emergencies and disasters through the Tide Loads of Hope mobile laundry program and helping some of the millions of girls who miss school due to a lack of access to period products through the Always #EndPeriodPoverty initiative.

Visit upworthy.com/actsofgood and fill out the nomination form for a chance for you or someone you know to win. It takes less than ten minutes to help someone make an even bigger impact.

@abcnews/TikTok

Cats are stars, onstage and off.

Oh, what it must be like to be a cat. To never suffer from imposter syndrome, to take on foes at least twice your size without hesitation, to navigate the world like you’re on every VIP list in existence. What a glorious life, indeed.

Take this concert-crashing kitty, for example. During a live orchestra performance at the 52nd annual Istanbul Music Festival, a curious feline wandered up on stage without a care in the world—and of course it was all anybody could talk about.

In a clip shared to multiple social media platforms by several news outlets, including @abcnews on TikTok, we see the gray and white cat traipse onto the stage, as if drawn in by the whimsical tune being played.

Then, it literally catwalks across the stage, unbothered from beginning to end.

Watch:

@abcnews A curious cat wandered onto stage during a live orchestra performance at the 52nd Istanbul Music Festival. #turkey🇹🇷 #orchestra #catsoftiktok ♬ original sound - ABC News

Of course, as many viewers pointed out, this is an all-too-common sight in Istanbul, which, like many Muslim countries, holds a special place in its heart for felines. According to Catster, cats don’t have owners. Instead, they are taken care of by the entire community all around the city—from tea houses to ferries to public transport and beyond.

Istanbul even funds veterinary care for its stray cats, including spaying and neutering, emergency care, and a mobile Vetbus. It’s pretty much Kitty Heaven over there.

Besides commending Istanbul for its feline-friendly atmosphere, people also shared their delight for the cat who “stole the show.”

“He KNEW this was about him. HIS moment! Lol,” one person wrote.

Another added, “that’s his background music, and he’s off on a big adventure.”

Another tapped into the cat’s POV, writing, “how lovely, the humans are playing me a song.”

Some even offered their best cats puns.

“I think it was trying to find the ‘purr-cussion’ section,”one person quipped.

Another said, “That is an ARISTOCAT.”

Istanbul might go above and beyond for its cats, but the respect we have for feline audacity is strong just about everywhere in the world.

@variety/TikTok

The way Brunson comforted Aniston speaks volumes.


For those not familiar with Variety's “Actors on Actors,” it’s a live interview series where two actors discuss various aspects of their craft and career. Often, actors will be paired together because of a common thread. Margot Robbie and Cillian Murphy during the height of Barbenheimer, for example. Or Anne Hathaway and Emily Blunt—both from “The Devil Wears Prada.”

So it’s no surprise that two comedy queens, Jennifer Aniston and Quinta Brunson, would be paired together for the latest “Actors on Actors” segment. What people are astounded by, however, is the way Brunson handled a very serious moment.

At one point during the conversation, a producer off camera suggested that Brunson ask Aniston “what it’s like to watch ‘Friends’ now.”

This clearly struck a chord with Aniston, who, already tearing up, said “don’t make me cry.”

Noticing this Brunson said in a soft voice, “You’re already crying. Do you want a minute?,” before assuring her “We don’t have to talk about [this].”

@varietymagazine Jennifer Aniston gets emotional when asked about "Friends." #ActorsOnActors ♬ original sound - Variety

Tilting her head up to not let the tears fall, Aniston replied “No, no, sorry, I just started thinking about...” before Brunson quickly said “I know. Yeah.”

It’s evident that Aniston’s emotional reaction is triggered by the loss of her former “Friends” cast mate Matthew Perry, who died October 28, 2023. The pair’s friendship remained strong even after the show ended in 2004—Perry even revealed that Aniston was the member of their group who reached out to him “the most” during his sobriety journey.

All this to say, Aniston was understandably triggered by the question. Brunson saw that, and acted accordingly. She once again offered “we don’t have to talk about it,” waited while Aniston grabbed a tissue to compose herself, then masterfully guided the conversation to a joke.

“So, Jen, ‘Friends’ is turning 30…and you are turning 30…When you were a baby on that show, you were so advanced…your fine motor skills were insane”

Viewers applauded the “Abbott Elementary” star for “taking care” of Aniston’s emotional wellbeing.

”Quinta gets props for saying to Jennifer, ‘We don’t have to go there if you don’t want to.’ I get why the producers were trying to create that buzzworthy moment, but I also appreciate Quinta’s willingness to derail it for Jennifer’s sake,” one person wrote on Youtube

“Quinta’s little ‘I know’ — it was so simple but so kind and empathetic,” added another.

Over on TikTok, comments were just as complimentary.

“Quinta handled this masterfully,” wrote one person.

Another echoed, “How Quinta handled that- that’s why she’s where she’s at.”

Seeing people take care of one another never gets old.

You can watch the full conversation between Brunson and Aniston below:


Identity

Comedian Tig Notaro's 7-year-old son had a beautiful reaction to learning his moms are gay

“I was so stunned because we’ve lived together almost eight years, and I’ve been gay the whole time — even prior!”

Comedian Tig Notaro on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert."

June is LGBTQ Pride Month, a time for celebration for those in the community and their allies. People celebrate the occasion with pride parades, fly the pride flag, and commemorate special events in the gay rights movement, such as the Stonewall Uprising. But so far this month, for comedian Tig Notaro, things have been “a little weird.”

She explained the funny situation she and her wife, actor Stephanie Allynne, recently dealt with on the June 6 episode of “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”

Pride month, I’ll be honest, it’s been a little weird. My wife and I found out recently that our sons didn’t know we were gay. They will be 8 this month,” Notaro told Colbert. "Their school is six minutes away from our house, and at minute three we were in the front seat of the car talking about something about gay. Our son Finn leans forward and says, ‘You’re gay?’”


“I was so stunned because we’ve lived together almost eight years, and I’ve been gay the whole time — even prior!” Notaro joked. “So, I was like, ‘Yes! We are.’ I was so shocked.”

@colbertlateshow

#TigNotaro’s sons didn’t realize their moms were gay, but they jumped on board quickly! #Colbert

The couple felt they had to address the big revelation before the kids got to school, but they didn’t have much time. “We’re like three minutes now from the school, and I start explaining what gay is,” she continued. As she explained what it meant to be gay, she felt a little awkward coming out to her sons.

"And then while I was explaining it, I started getting insecure, thinking, 'What if he doesn’t like this?'” she worried. “So, she asked her sons to share their feelings on the sensitive issue. “What do you think about what I just told you?” Notaro asked them.

Her son Finn gave the most beautiful response.

“Oh, I love my family,” he said.

The couple were shocked that their kids had no idea what gay meant, even though their mothers were lesbians. “We drop them off at school and we’re like, ‘bye!’ and we truly drove off going like half-a-mile-an-hour, like ‘How on earth do our kids not know we’re gay?’ Because, dare I say, we’re also an iconic gay couple,” Notaro joked.

Allynne and Notaro have been married for over eight and a half years, tying the knot on October 24, 2015, in Notaro’s hometown of Pass Christian, Mississippi. It wasn’t long after that they became parents. On June 26, 2016, their sons, Max and Finn, were born by surrogate.

When the couple first met, it was challenging for Allyne, who wasn’t sure how to label her sexuality. "Everything about her felt right," she told People. "I knew I liked her, I knew I cared about her and that sent me into an identity crisis spiral. I felt the need to label myself. Was I gay? Was I bi? Was I still straight? Was I ever straight?"

"It took me six months to realize those labels were ridiculous. Once I was able to own my true feelings it was all easy and beautiful. I now don’t believe in the labels,” she continued.

Now, things have come full circle and the couple are explaining to their kids what it means to be gay. “I realized that even though there’s pictures of our wedding day and they know they have two moms, that doesn’t mean they know what gay is,” Notaro told Colbert.

The male employees of PrimaDonna try on their "breasts."

Let's face it, it's a lot easier to be a man than a woman. Although men die four years earlier than women, they get to live without the extra burdens of menstrual cramps, lower pay, the pain of childbirth, or the feeling of having a bra strap digging into their backs.

But now, the CEO of a bra company is letting men experience what it's like to have large breasts so they can understand what women go through every day.


One day a year, PrimaDonna CEO Ignace Van Doorselaere makes his male employees wear simulated E-cup-sized breasts for an entire work day. "There is only one way for a man to realize what an E-cup feels like, and that is having an E-cup," Van Doorselaere says.

In order to simulate the feeling of carrying around E-cup-sized breasts, the men wear weights hung around their necks. "Let's be honest, an E-Cup can weigh up to 1 or 1.5 kilograms (2.2 to 3.5 lbs) per breast," Van Doorselaere says. "This is a lot. It hurts your neck. It hurts your back. Imagine you are that woman. Carry those breasts for an entire day. That's why you need good support. Good support is important. Everybody at PrimaDonna knows that now."

This article originally appeared on 10.30.17