|Thursday, Feb 16, 2006|
To commemorate the Daisy L. Gatson Bates Holiday, Grif Stockley will sign copies of his new book, Daisy Bates: Civil Rights Crusader from Arkansas on Monday, February 20, 2006 from 5:00 - 6:30 p.m. at the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site visitor center.
Stockley explores the role Bates undertook as the mentor to the Little Rock Nine during the 1957 desegregation crisis, and her role as president of the NAACP. He also sheds light on the fact that Bates was the only woman to speak onstage during the famous March on Washington at the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963.
Bates?s importance as a historical figure has been overlooked by scholars of the civil rights movement, Stockley argues. Daisy Bates: Civil Rights Crusader from Arkansas chronicles her childhood, her marriage, her co-founding of the Arkansas State Press with her husband L.C. Bates, and her political advocacy before, during, and well after the Central High School crisis. Daisy Bates, from the southern Arkansas mill town of Huttig, eventually rose to the zenith of civil rights action in the South.
In 1952, she was elected president of the NAACP in Arkansas and traveled the country speaking on civil rights and political issues. During the 1960s and ?70s, she worked as a field organizer for Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Baines Johnson to get out the black vote. Even after a series of strokes, she continued her work, orchestrating the affairs of numerous self-help and economic initiatives in Arkansas.
Grif Stockley is a staff attorney of the American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas. He is the author of several books, including Blood in Their Eyes: The Elaine Race Massacres of 1919, Blind Judgment, Probable Cause, and Expert Testimony. He lives in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site is located at 2125 Daisy L. Gatson Bates Drive, across the street from Central High School. The visitor center is open from 9:00 a.m. ? 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is free. For more information call (501) 374-1957.