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The Long Shadow of Little Rock

Tue, 11/29/2005 - 1:53pm by Tim


A moving memoir by the woman who was the advisor for the Little Rock nine during the Central High crisis:

Daisy Bates, The Long Shadow of Little Rock. New York: D. McKay, 1964.

From the forward by historian Willard B. Gatewood Jr.:

"Daisy Bates's memoir, originally published in 1962, chronicles the moral and physical courage of one who stood at the center of the tumultuous events surrounding the racial integration of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas during 1957 - 1958. Despite its title, this work is far more than a gripping account of the crisis at Central High. Rather it is the memoir of a remarkable individual whose role in the struggle of Afro-Americans to achieve equal rights culminated, rather than began and ended, in this single episode."

From V. Robin Grice, University of Michigan Center for Afroamerican and African Studies Information Resources Coordinator:

"Daisy Bates first-person account of the events now known simply as “Little Rock” is mesmerizing. In a world where the word "hero" has come to be used so blithely, this book promises to challenge the reader on many levels. Yes, courage and sacrifice do often come in a blink of an eye, but there’s a much rarer sort: the daily courage and everyday sacrifice of a time when the consequences of standing up were as obvious as the cross burning in your front yard; where humiliation, financial ruin and violent death were not sudden nor unexpected, and yet the “survivors” too asked “why”; where you, the reader of this important book, are surprised and frankly amazed that instead of losing her mind, Daisy Bates --hero, soldier, fighter of the good fight -- kept on fighting."

Charles Behling, Co-Director of the Program on Intergroup Relations, and Adjunct Lecturer in Psychology, University of Michigan:

"I found Daisy Bates' memoir very powerful, especially in placing the events of Brown into the context of the lives, courage, and pain of those who lived the struggle. I myself was a child in the South during the period of Little Rock, and I found Ms. Bates' story both inspiring and horrifying. I think her memoir can help us rethink life in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti today, how far we still have to go, and how crucial is the journey."

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