I see it much as a coda of the Great Depression photos that Leavitt, Walker etc. had produced.
With the onset of WWII the shared poverty of the Depression across all racial groups starts to diverge. Leavitt could not have known at the time of this photo that the war then just beginning would result in the a post-war prosperity for whites that would enable them to "flee" the inner city.
And only now, 64 years later do we see much inner city poverty disappearing. Not because we have solved the problems of the poor - but because we are rapidly gentrifying the core inner city in New York pushing the poor further and further to the margins.
Then again, it could just be a curious little boy taking advantage of a situation where the girl is focused on her dispute with the other lass. Boys will be boys!