The life of civil rights leader Daisy Bates is vividly detailed in this stirring new biography by an acclaimed husband-wife team. Throughout her life, Daisy Bates worked tirelessly for civil rights as an activist, journalist, and organizer. She first captured national attention as the mentor of the nine black students who integrated Central High School in Little Rock in 1957. During this crisis President Dwight Eisenhower was forced to use federal troops to insure the admission of the students, who became known as the Little Rock Nine. In 1999, just hours after her funeral, President Bill Clinton bestowed the Congressional Gold Medal on the Little Rock Nine, and two years later Daisy Bates was honored by a state holiday in Arkansas.
In this noteworthy companion to their other distinguished biographies of African Americans, Dennis and Judith Fradin have drawn upon a trove of archival material including papers, correspondence, and photographs of her life and work. They also interviewed some of her living relatives and members of the Little Rock Nine. The result is a compelling, inspiring book about the courage and determination of one woman in the face of prejudice and intolerance. Endnotes, bibliography, index.
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Dennis Brindell Fradin is the author of many books for young readers, including the well-received SAMUEL ADAMS: THE FATHER OF AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE and, with coauthor and wife Judith Bloom Fradin, IDA B. WELLS: MOTHER OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT. He lives in Evanston, Illinois.
Judith Bloom Fradin has collaborated with Dennis Brindell Fradin on several award-winning books for young readers, includinng Fight On! Mary Church Terrell's Battle for Integration, selected as one of 2004's Best Books for Young Adults among other honors. The Fradins live in Evanston, Illinois
Starred Review. Grade 6-9–With the aid of archival photographs, meticulous research, and primary-source material, the Fradins have created an outstanding and passionate biography of a civil rights leader who gained prominence as the mentor of the nine African-American students who integrated Central High School in Little Rock in 1957. Raised in rural Arkansas by adoptive parents, Bates experienced early on the insults and humiliation associated with segregation. When she learned that her mother had been raped and killed (probably by white men who were never tried for the crime), her father urged her to not hate white people, but to hate the humiliation that African Americans lived with, and to do something about it. She and her husband, L. C. Bates, published the ArkansasState Press, which offered national and local news for African Americans with an emphasis on civil rights matters. The majority of the book focuses on the Little Rock Nine and Bates's tireless fight (in the face of numerous death threats) to help the teens stand up to hate and insults. The authors capture the drama of this fight through interviews from surviving members of the group and newspaper articles from the time. Powerful photos of the federal troops called in by President Eisenhower and of white students jeering at the African Americans help readers to understand the terror of the situation. This compelling biography clearly demonstrates that one person can indeed make a difference.–Jennifer Ralston, Harford County Public Library, Belcamp, MD
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