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Ms.Mujer.Mwanake. Women around the world have something in common: Power. - "Daisy Bates: First Lady of Little Rock"
Maysles Cinema
New York, NY
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Ms.Mujer.Mwanake. Women around the world have something in common: Power. - "Daisy Bates: First Lady of Little Rock"
Monday, March 25th, 6:30pm
Women around the world have something in common: Power.  Documentaries on making history.
Curated by Amanda Lopez and Tatiyana Jenkins
A Women's History Month Special

Daisy Bates: First Lady of Little Rock
Sharon La Cruise, 2011, 78 mins.
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. Unconventional and egotistical, Bates 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. As head of the Arkansas NAACP and protector of the nine students, Bates achieved instant fame as the drama played out on national television and in newspapers around the world. In the late '80s when she talked to journalists about her role in the 1957 crisis she said, "When we took on segregation in the Little Rock schools I don't think we had any big idea we were gonna win it then. But they were gonna know they had had a fight!" Their struggle culminated in a constitutional crisis  pitting a president against a governor and a community against itself. But that fame proved fleeting and Bates paid a hefty price for her attempts to remain relevant. When historians and filmmakers began retelling the stories of the Movementthere was no place for a Daisy Bates in that history. Daisy Bates: First Lady of Little Rock asks why and offers a rare opportunity for viewers to experience the Civil Rights Movement through the eyes of one of its female leaders. 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' 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.

A woman who was both beautiful and deeply flawedBates was fearless in her quest for justice, stepping into the spotlight to bring national attention to issues  and some say herself. The approach to Bates and her life is what makes Daisy Bates: First Lady of Little Rock such a unique film. In attempting to resurrect Bates' place in American history the film deliberately steered away from the easy path of hagiography. Instead it tells the story of a complex woman who was as hated as she was loved, who stood apart because she refused to allow society to define her. In the bitter irony of history, Bates' fight to be accepted on her own terms ultimately led to her being forgotten beyond her native state. Daisy Bates: First Lady of Little Rock tells her story and that of the unspoken price that was paid by America's civil rights pioneers.

Q&A with Ernest Green, one of the Little Rock Nine and director Sharon La Cruise, moderated by daughter of Ernest Green and Maysles Cinema director Jessica Green.

Reception to follow Q&A.



Maysles Cinema (View)
343 Lenox Ave.
New York, NY 10027
United States

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Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


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