Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Why Community Organizers Matter 

Wednesday, Jan 11 2012
In 1957, nine young black students showed up for their first day at Little Rock Central High School. They faced an angry white mob and the Arkansas National Guard, which had been deployed by the governor to resist federal desegregation orders. The event quickly became a fulcrum for the civil rights movement, largely through the efforts of one oft-overlooked organizer: Daisy Lee Gatson Bates. As co-founder of the black Arkansas State Press and president of the Arkansas branch of the NAACP, Bates was uniquely qualified to prepare the Little Rock Nine for their first day of school, and to get the news cameras rolling. In an attempt to bring Bates’ legacy into our public conscience, Sharon La Cruise’s documentary Daisy Bates: First Lady of Little Rock recounts the harrowing events of the Little Rock crisis, as well as Bates’ later work on President Lyndon Johnson’s anti-poverty programs. In the process, Cruise also uncovers a personality as complex as the era — a charismatic, self-taught firebrand whose need for drink led to three early strokes and whose need for attention often led to alienation, even from those she would help. Ultimately, we are left with an authentic heroine who has not been whitewashed.
Tue., Jan. 17, 5:45 p.m., 2012

About The Author

Silke Tudor

Related Locations


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"