Photographer Eve Arnold captured this image of “activist training” in the 1960s. As America fought to either cope with equality or abolish what was perceived as a threat, the non-violence training was unorthodox but effective. Maintaining a cool head in the face of adversity was a challenge, so young activists were put through conditions they would face in their fight, including having smoke blown in their face. The ability to not react to provocations like these was one of the keys to the success of the civil rights movement.
If these people are still alive, they should be proud of what they accomplished. Despite coming so far in the last 50 years, there is still more work to be done.