03/28/2008 02:45 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

The Little Rock 9, And The History Behind The History

Today is the 50th anniversary of the desegregation of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, and the photo to the left is an iconic representation of that important event in American history: Black student Elizabeth Eckford heads into the school surrounded by a taunting and angry crows, as behind her a white classmate hisses at her, face contorted in the ugliness of racial hatred. That girl was Hazel Bryan Massery -- and 40 years later, she and Eckford were reuinted for a photo, and became, surprisingly, great friends, beginning a relationship sprung from their intertwined roots in that larger story which still marks it with angst and raw feelings on both sides. Vanity Fair's David Margolick chronicles this and other events springing from that day 50 years ago in "Through a Lens, Darkly" -- an 11,000 word opus tracing what happened to Eckford and the rest of the Nine after that day: