'DAISY BATES: FIRST LADY OF LITTLE ROCK' ~ Monday, March 18, 7 p.m., Culp Auditorium

' What is happening at Little Rock transcends segregation and integration. This is a question of right and wrong.' – Daisy Bates

At a time when women were expected to be silent she was unafraid to speak the truth ... In a place where justice was enforced by fear, she would not compromise. – Daisy Bates: First Lady of Little Rock


Daisy Bates: First Lady of Little Rock is the story of a seven-year journey by filmmaker Sharon La Cruise to unravel the life of a forgotten civil rights activist named Daisy Bates. Beautiful, glamorous and articulate, Bates was fearless in her quest for justice, stepping into the spotlight to bring national attention to issues – and some say herself. Unconventional and revolutionary, she became a household name in 1957 when she fought for the right of nine black students to attend the all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. Her 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, 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 Bates would pay a hefty price for her attempts to remain relevant. The film travels with Daisy Bates on her long and lonely walk from orphaned child to newspaperwoman to national Civil Rights figure to her last days in Little Rock. Bates's journey, full of triumphs and defeats, parallels the ongoing struggle of generations of African Americans who have challenged America to live up to what it claims to be for more than 200 years. For more information about the film, visit the website.

The Filmmaker

Sharon La Cruise has worked in television and film for 15 years, both in the corporate and production aspects of the business. She began her television career with ABC Primetime sales, working closely with the account executives and advertising agencies. Sharon has worked for The Faith Project, Blackside Inc., The Coca-Cola Company, the 1996 Summer Olympic Games, and the Cable News Network (CNN). Her credits include:This Far By Faith: African-American Spiritual Journeys; The Life of Zora Neale Hurston; and CNN's Through the Lens, The Road to the White Houseand The Planetary Police. She has a B.A. in history from Adelphi University, and a M.A. degree in television journalism from New York University.

Interview with La Cruise

Independent Lens Blog


New York Times


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