Daisy Bates: First Lady of Little Rock tells the story of a seven-year journey by filmmaker Sharon La Cruise to try to unravel the life of a forgotten civil rights activist named Daisy Bates. In 1957, Bates became a household name when she fought for the right of nine black students to attend the all-white Central High School in Little Rock,Arkansas. Bates’ public support culminated in a constitutional crisis — pitting a president against a governor and a community against itself.
As head of the Arkansas NAACP, and protector of the nine students, Daisy Bates would achieve instant fame as the drama played out on national television and in newspapers around the world. But that fame would prove fleeting and for her attempts to remain relevant, she would pay a hefty price. This documentary travels with Daisy Bates on her long and lonely walk from orphaned child to newspaper woman to national Civil Rights figure to her last days in Little Rock.
Bates’ journey, both her triumphs and defeats parallels the ongoing struggle of generations of African Americans who for more than 200 years have challenged America to live up to what it claims to be.
Produced and Directed by SHARON LA CRUISE
Co-Produced by NOLAND WALKER
Edited by SANDRA CHRISTIE
with ANGELA BASSETT as the voice of Daisy Bates
“Daisy Bates like Dorothy Height, Fannie Lou Hammer, Barbara Jordan and countless others known and unknown is a timeless spirit. A woman of tremendous courage, worthy of emulation in every era.”
~ Angela Bassett, Actress
“This is a well-told intimate story of a heroine of the modern civil rights movement who is not as well-known as she should be; Daisy Bates was a pioneer and path breaker. Congratulations to Sharon La Cruise for bringing her story to the screen.”
~ Julian Bond, Chairman Emeritus, NAACP
“The documentary is a moving, well-researched tribute to a complex activist, and while La Cruise obviously considers Bates a personal hero, she doesn’t gloss Bates’s flaws. Bates is well-known in Little Rock, but she and many other female civil rights activists are somewhat lost to history at large. They’re eclipsed by a handful of men with reputations bolstered not only by dauntless deeds but by the patriarchal era and community in which these deeds were accomplished. This documentary’s very existence reminds us of that fact. It also humanizes Bates, showcasing a woman of great accomplishment but also a woman we recognize — we find her in ourselves, our mothers, our sisters and friends. And a genuine flawed hero is infinitely more interesting than an airbrushed myth.”
Arkansas Times – Arkansas Blog
Posted by Cheree Franco on Thu, Dec 1, 2011 at 11:56 AM