Cynthia Griggs Fleming reviews the biography of a woman at the center of the Little Rock school desegregation crisis: Grif Stockley, Daisy Bates: Civil Rights Crusader from Arkansas (University Press of Mississippi, 2005) She begins:
Grif Stockley's biography of Daisy Bates carefully places her at the center of the famous school crisis in Little Rock, Arkansas, in the late 1950s. The remarkable television footage of nine black children attempting to integrate Little Rock's Central High School in the fall of 1957 gripped a generation of Americans who watched the events unfold on the evening news night after night. Despite the publicity the crisis received, few people at that time knew of all of the maneuvering and posturing that went on behind the scenes among city, state, and federal officials, and local and national NAACP leaders. Stockley does a masterful job of explaining this situation, while carefully keeping Daisy Bates at the center of the action. At the same time, the author manages to convey the sense of urgency and fear that gripped the participants in this major school-desegregation crisis.
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