Daisy Bates, born 105 years ago on Nov. 11, 1914

Daisy Lee Gatson Bates and her husband were important figures in the African American community in the capital city of Little Rock.  Realizing her intense involvement and dedication to education and school integration, Daisy was the chosen agent after nine black students were selected to attend and integrate a Little Rock High School.

Bates guided and advised the nine students, known as the Little Rock Nine, when they enrolled in 1957 at Little Rock Central High School. President Clinton presented the Little Rock Nine with the Congressional Gold Medal and spoke at the 40th anniversary of the desegregation while he was in office.

Daisy Bates was involved in more than the Little Rock Nine.  In January 1956, she led 27 African American students in their attempt to integrate four Little Rock schools.  While the efforts were not successful, they did serve to put the Little Rock School District on notice that the African American community was expecting action on school integration.

In 1959, she was arrested for refusing to provide City leaders with the membership of the local NAACP chapter. The case ended up going to the US Supreme Court as Daisy BATES et al., Petitioners, v. CITY OF LITTLE ROCK et al.  The decision had far-reaching impact in stopping government entities from requiring membership rolls as a means of intimidation or curbing the right of public assembly.

When Mrs. Bates died, a memorial service was held at Robinson Center on April 27, 2000.  Among the speakers were President Bill Clinton, Secretary of Transportation Rodney Slater, and Rev. Rufus K. Young, pastor of the Bethel AME Church.  Others in attendance included Lt. Gov. Winthrop Paul Rockefeller, Mayor Jim Dailey, Presidential diarist Janis Kearney, former senator and governor David Pryor, and five members of the Little Rock Nine:  Carlotta Walls Lanier, Ernest Green, Minnijean Brown Trickey, Jefferson Thomas, and Elizabeth Eckford.

It was during his remarks at the service that President Clinton announced he had asked that Bates’ south-central Little Rock home be designated as a national historic landmark.

Remembering Daisy Bates

Today is the Daisy Bates Holiday in the State of Arkansas.  So it is an appropriate day to pay tribute to Mrs. Bates, who played a leading role in the Little Rock Integration Crisis of 1957.

Daisy Lee Gatson Bates and her husband were important figures in the African American community in the capital city of Little Rock.  Realizing her intense involvement and dedication to education and school integration, Daisy was the chosen agent after nine black students were selected to attend and integrate a Little Rock High School.  Bates guided and advised the nine students, known as the Little Rock Nine, when they enrolled in 1957 at Little Rock Central High School. President Clinton presented the Little Rock Nine with the Congressional Gold Medal and spoke at the 40th anniversary of the desegregation while he was in office.

When Mrs. Bates died, a memorial service was held at Robinson Center on April 27, 2000.  Among the speakers were President Bill Clinton, Secretary of Transportation Rodney Slater, and Rev. Rufus K. Young, pastor of the Bethel AME Church.  Others in attendance included Lt. Gov. Winthrop Paul Rockefeller, Mayor Jim Dailey, Presidential diarist Janis Kearney, former senator and governor David Pryor, and five members of the Little Rock Nine:  Carlotta Walls Lanier, Ernest Green, Minnijean Brown Trickey, Jefferson Thomas, and Elizabeth Eckford.

It was during his remarks at the service that President Clinton announced he had asked that Bates’ south-central Little Rock home be designated as a national historic landmark.

Women’s History Month – Janis Kearney, first presidential diarist

Janis Kearney is the only person to have held the title of U.S. Presidential Diarist. In 1995 she was appointed to that position by President Bill Clinton.

After graduating from the University of Arkansas, she was hired by the State of Arkansas as a program manager.  Nine years later, she became managing editor for the Arkansas State Press. She later purchased it from owner Daisy Bates.

In 1992, she took a leave from the paper to work on the Clinton presidential campaign.  Following the election, she worked in the transition office, the White House, and the U.S. Small Business Administration until her appointment as Presidential Diarist.

In 2001, she moved to Chicago and started working on a book, while also having fellowships at Harvard and DePaul.  In 2004, she founded Writing Our World Press and published her first book, Cotton Field of Dreams.  Her Clinton biography, Conversations: William Jefferson Clinton-From Hope to Harlem was published in 2006.  Since then she has also published a novel, a biography of Daisy Bates, and the second part of her memoirs.

 

Black History Month – Daisy Bates and Robinson Center

bates daisyToday is the Daisy Bates Holiday in the State of Arkansas.  So it is an appropriate day to pay tribute to Mrs. Bates, who played a leading role in the Little Rock Integration Crisis of 1957.

Daisy Lee Gatson Bates and her husband were important figures in the African American community in the capital city of Little Rock.  Realizing her intense involvement and dedication to education and school integration, Daisy was the chosen agent after nine black students were selected to attend and integrate a Little Rock High School.  Bates guided and advised the nine students, known as the Little Rock Nine, when they enrolled in 1957 at Little Rock Central High School. President Clinton presented the Little Rock Nine with the Congressional Gold Medal and spoke at the 40th anniversary of the desegregation while he was in office.

When Mrs. Bates died, a memorial service was held at Robinson Center on April 27, 2000.  Among the speakers were President Bill Clinton, Secretary of Transportation Rodney Slater, and Rev. Rufus K. Young, pastor of the Bethel AME Church.  Others in attendance included Lt. Gov. Winthrop Paul Rockefeller, Mayor Jim Dailey, Presidential diarist Janis Kearney, former senator and governor David Pryor, and five members of the Little Rock Nine:  Carlotta Walls Lanier, Ernest Green, Minnijean Brown Trickey, Jefferson Thomas, and Elizabeth Eckford.

It was during his remarks at the service that President Clinton announced he had asked that Bates’ south-central Little Rock home be designated as a national historic landmark.

A full slate for the third day of the 2015 Arkansas Literary Festival

2015 ALF 1Many activities today with the Arkansas Literary Festival!

At 10am –

  • Karen Joy Fowler, Janis F. Kearney and Jamaica Kincaid on a panel – Acts of Empowerment at the Darragh Center.
  • Alison Hedge Coke and Casandra Lopez on a panel – Indigenous Grace in the Main Library
  • Stephen Roth, Jay Ruud and John Vanderslice on a panel – Island of Fatal Pride in the Arkansas Studies Institute
  • Karen Akins, John Horner Jacobs and Ann Leckie on a panel – Science Fiction & Fantasy in the Arkansas Studies Institute
  • Michael Barrier will discuss his book Funnybooks on the 3rd floor of River Market Books & Gifts
  • Joe Barry Carroll will give a workshop at Historic Arkansas Museum
  • Arree Chung will discuss Ninja! At the Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library and Learning Center.

At 11:30am –

  • Scott Simpson will lead a Dinosaur Odyssey in the Ron Robinson Theater
  • Megan Abbott & Ben Percy on a panel – Thrill Me in the Darragh Center.
  • Morgan Murphy & Desha Peacock on a panel – Social Savvy in the Arkansas Studies Institute
  • Lisa Howorth and James Korne Gay on a panel – Mississippi Two by Two on the 3rd floor of River Market Books & Gifts
  • John A. Beineke & James Presley on a panel – Notorious Crimes at Historic Arkansas Museum
  • Brian Turner discusses Memories of a Soldier at the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History
  • Tiphanie Yanique and Sefi Atta on a panel – Vital Fusion at Mosaic Templars Cultural Center
  • Michele Raffin discusses The Birds of Pandemonium at the Witt Stephens Jr. Arkansas Nature Center

At 1pm –

  • Issa Rae will discuss The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl at the Ron Robinson Theater
  • Michael Kardos & M.O. Walsk on a panel – The Unputdownables at the Darragh Center.
  • Mary Miller & Timothy S. Lane on a panel – Triumph of Youth in the Main Library
  • Jesse J. Hargrove and Janis F. Kearney on a panel – Celia and T.J. in the Arkansas Studies Institute
  • Cheryl & Griffith Day on a panel – Baking Days in the Arkansas Studies Institute
  • Jonathan Darman discusses Landslide: LBJ and Ronald Reagan on the 3rd floor of River Market Books & Gifts
  • Joe Barry Carroll discusses Growing Up…in Words and Images at Historic Arkansas Museum
  • Jeff Allen and Preston Lauterbach on a panel – Beginning in 1866 at Mosaic Templars Cultural Center
  • Amanda Petrusich and Kent Russell on a panel at the Witt Stephens Jr. Arkansas Nature Center
  • Spencer Reese discusses The Road to Emmaus at Christ Episcopal Church

At 2:30 pm –

  • Rick Bragg discusses Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story at the Ron Robinson Theater
  • Quan Barry and Brock Clarke on a panel – Luminosity at the Darragh Center.
  • Richard Lange, Thomas Pierce & Antonio Ruiz-Camacho on a panel – Short Stories in the Main Library
  • Maxine Payne discusses Making Pictures in the Arkansas Studies Institute
  • Morgan Murphy discusses Off the Eaten Path: On the Road Again in the Arkansas Studies Institute
  • Meili Cady discusses Smoke on the 3rd floor of River Market Books & Gifts
  • Frank Thurmond discusses Ring of Five at Historic Arkansas Museum
  • Ted Rall discusses Traveling to Afghanistan at the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History
  • Jamaica Kincaid discusses See Now Then at Mosaic Templars Cultural Center
  • Scott Sampson discusses How to Raise a Wild Child at the Witt Stephens Jr. Arkansas Nature Center

At 4 pm –

  • Marck Beggs, Nickole Brown, Hope Coulter, Jessica Jacobs, Sand Longhorn and Jo McDougall headline a poetry panel at the Ron Robinson Theater
  • Kevin Brockmeier and Tania James on a panel at the Darragh Center.
  • Desha Peacock leads a workshop on creating your style in the Main Library
  • J. Hartley discusses Macbeth: A Novel in the Arkansas Studies Institute
  • Sam Quinones and Marilyn Wedge on a panel in the Arkansas Studies Institute
  • Seph Lawless discusses Black Friday on the 3rd floor of River Market Books & Gifts
  • Laura Parker Castoro and Adrienne Thompson on a panel at Historic Arkansas Museum
  • Molly Guptill Manning discusses When Books Went to War at the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History
  • Guy Lancaster and Andrew Maraniss on a panel – History and Sport at Mosaic Templars Cultural Center
  • Michael Largo discusses The Big, Bad Book of Botany at the Witt Stephens Jr. Arkansas Nature Center

Evening activities include:

  • Fed, White & Blue at 5pm at the Oxford American annex (1300 Main) featuring author and TV personality Simon Jajumdar
  • Joshua Wolf Shank discussing Powers of Two at the Clinton School at 6pm
  • Pub or Perish, moderated by Bryan Borland at Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack at 7pm
  • Speak Now at Mosaic Templars Cultural Center at 7pm
  • John Waters discussing Carsick at the Ron Robinson Theatre at 8pm

Arkansas Literary Festival This Weekend!

litfestlogoThe Arkansas Literary Festival, the premier gathering of readers and writers in Arkansas, has expanded to include over 90 authors in many locations on both sides of the river from April 18-21, 2013.

The Central Arkansas Library System’s Main Library campus, other venues in the River Markets and Argenta Arts districts are the sites for a stimulating mix of sessions, panels, special events, performances, workshops, presentations, opportunities to meet the authors, book sales, and book signings. Most events are free and open to the public.

Festival authors include:

Salma Abdelnour, David Abrams, Mary Stewart Atwell, Beth Ayer, Jenni B. Baker, Jan Barry, Carolyn Briggs, Kevin Brockmeier, Sam Calvin Brown, Oliver Burkeman, Mary Bucci Bush, Drew Cameron, Raquel Cepeda, Da Chen, Joseph Crespino, James Daily, Lela Davidson, Edmond Davis, Sylvia Day, James W. Erwin, Richard Ford, Ben Fountain, Tim Gallagher, Tim Gallagher, Paula J. Giddings, Kay Collett Goss, Jessica B. Harris, Ruth Hawkins, Roger D. Hodge, Ty Jaeger, Jay Jennings, Ben Katchor, Janis F. Kearney, Jeannette Keith, Brian and Terri Kinder, Steve Kistulentz, Christi Shannon Kline, Jon Krampner, Travis Langley, Carlotta Walls LaNier, Dorothy R. Leavell, Domingo Martinez, Ayana Mathis, Carla Killough McClafferty, Rosetta Miller-Perry, Lydia Millet, Pat Mora, Linda Murphy, Sara Nesson, Cynthia LeJeune Nobles, Harry Ostrer, Darcy Pattison, Lori Perkins, Leonard Pitts Jr., Garry Craig Powell, Padgett Powell, Joe Queenan, Karen Russell, Eric Rutkow, Courtney Miller Santo, Rosie Schaap, Martha Silano, Heather Sutherlin, Steve Teske, Chuck Thompson, Charles Todd, Caroline Todd, Duncan Tonatiuh, GB Tran, Dennis Vannatta, Frank X Walker, John Corey Whaley, Steve Wiegenstein, David Wesley Williams, Johnathon Williams, Rita Williams-Garcia, Christian Wiman, Jan Wolfe, Ron Wolfe, C.D. Wright, Steve Yates

This year’s Festival authors have won an impressive number and variety of distinguished awards, such as the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, Pulitzer Prize for Journalism, James Beard Foundation Award, PEN/Hemingway Award, Newbery Honor, National Book Critics Circle Award, a Coretta Scott King Honor, PEN/O.Henry Prize; Pushcart Prize; Barnes and Noble Discover Prize for Fiction, Roger Ebert’s Film Festival Thumbs Up Award, Pure Belpré Award, International Griffin Prize for Poetry, International Documentary Association Best Documentary Short, Gold Medal from the Society of Illustrators, and several National Book Award Finalists. Many of the presenters’ works have been translated into multiple languages and made into films.

Special events for adults during the Festival include a cocktail reception with the authors, food, wine, and spirits workshops, films, a play, and Spoken Word LIVE!, a city-wide poetry competition. Panels and workshops will feature topics such as fiction, memoir, screenwriting, super hero psychology & law, Warrior Writers Project, erotica, and more.

Children’s special events include a storytime on the lawn of the Governor’s Mansion, a book fiesta, the artmobile, plays, outdoor activities, and Super Hero Activity Afternoon. Festival sessions for children will take place at both the new Children’s Library, 4800 10th Street, and the Youth Services Department at the Main Library, 100 Rock Street.

At Level 4, the Main Library’s teen center, teens can meet authors and illustrators, participate in ComiCALS, activities and panels such as a cosplay contest, video game tournament, a writing workshop, and zombie survival activities.

Through the Writers In The Schools (WITS) initiative, the Festival will provide presentations by several authors for Pulaski county elementary, middle, and senior high schools and area colleges.

Support for the Literary Festival is provided by sponsors including Central Arkansas Library System; Friends of Central Arkansas Libraries (FOCAL); Department of Arkansas Heritage; Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau; Fred K. Darragh Jr. Foundation; Arkansas Democrat Gazette; Mosaic Templars Cultural Center; Regions; ProSmartPrinting; MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History; Historic Arkansas Museum; Clinton Presidential Center; Hendrix-Murphy Foundation; Wright, Lindsey & Jennings LLP, Arkansas Times; Christ Church, Little Rock’s Downtown Episcopal Church; Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center; Arkansas Library Association; Henderson State University; University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service; Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre; Arkansas Governor’s Mansion; Hendrix College Creative Writing and the Hendrix-Murphy Foundation Programs in Literature & Language; Hendrix College Project Pericles Program; Hendrix College; University of Arkansas at Little Rock, English Department; University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Department of Rhetoric and Writing; Pulaski Technical College; Jewish Federation of Arkansas; Arkansas Arts Center; Power 92 Jams; Central High School National Historic Site; National Park Service; Literacy Action of Central Arkansas; Capital Hotel; Little Rock Film Festival; and LuLav. The Arkansas Literary Festival is supported in part by funds from the Arkansas Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Author! Author!, a cocktail reception with the authors, will be Friday, April 19 at 8pm on the fifth floor of the CALS main library building.  Tickets are available at the door.

The Arkansas Literary Festival is a project of the Central Arkansas Library System. The Festival’s mission is to encourage the development of a more literate populace. A group of dedicated volunteers assists Festival Coordinator Brad Mooy with planning the Festival. Jay Jennings is the 2013 Festival Chair. Other committee chairs include Katherine Whitworth, Talent Committee; Lisa Donovan, Youth Programs; and Amy Bradley-Hole, Moderators.