Daisy Gatson Bates’ 100th birthday Celebration at the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site November 10th at 6 pm

Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site, in partnership with Philander Smith College, will present a screening of the documentary Daisy Bates: First Lady of Little Rock on Monday, November 10 at 6:00 p.m. in the Harry R. Kendall Science and Health Mission Center on the campus of Philander Smith College.  At the conclusion of the documentary, Dr. Michael Twyman, director of the UALR Institute on Race and Ethnicity, will moderate a panel discussion focusing on the legacy and inspiration of Daisy Gatson Bates.

 As the president of the Arkansas state conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Daisy Gatson Bates symbolized the legal fight to desegregate public schools after the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1954 ruling in Brown v. Board of Education found segregated schools unconstitutional.  Daisy Bates Day, commemorated now on the third Monday of every February, is observed by the state of Arkansas and is the first state holiday established that honors an African-American woman.  {Daisy Lee Gatson was born on November 11, 1914 in Huttig, Arkansas; she died on November 4, 1999.}

 The panelists will include: Elizabeth Eckford and Dr. Terrence J. Roberts, two of the Little Rock Nine and recipients with Daisy Gatson Bates of the prestigious NAACP Spingarn Medal in 1958; Janis F. Kearney, former publisher of the Arkansas State Press, presidential diarist for the Clinton Administration, and author of Daisy: Between a Rock and a Hard Place, a biographical memoir on Daisy Gatson Bates; Treopia Washington, former Special Assistant to the Executive Director for the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities and current Vice President for Partnerships and Minority affairs at the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards; Sharon La Cruise, manager for the Ford Foundation JustFilms unit and producer/director/writer of Daisy Bates: First Lady of Little Rock, a 2012 documentary on the Emmy Award-winning PBS series Independent Lens.

The event is free and open to the public.  Philander Smith College is located at 900 W. Daisy L. Gatson Bates Drive in Little Rock.  For more information, please call (501) 374-1957 or email us at [email protected].