Book Review: Bates, Long Shadow of Little Rock
Daisy Bates, the author of “The Long Shadow of Little Rock”, is a civil rights activist, newspaper writer and an officer in the NAACP. In the book, “The Long Shadow of Little Rock”, she writes about the hate, anger and segregation of blacks in Arkansas. The book is presented more as an autobiography of the author herself, although the story of the integration of nine black students in the Little Rock Central High School in 1957 takes spotlight in the book. Bates mentions about the hardship of her and the nine other students in the effort to defy local segregation and bring integration in the school, as well as in the whole of the US.
The author has been able to provide the facts of what racial prejudice was back then in the 1950s. She gives a hint that the whites back then had the right to do anything on blacks during then when she writes about the brutal killing of her mother in a rape attempt by three white men. She also mentions about the differences in education for whites and blacks. The whites would get better facilities in big and new schools, and the blacks had to depend on the poor conditions of their segregated schools.
The incident took place during the 1950s, when segregation was common practice. Moreover, the author, who is a black female from the south, had already seen a lot of segregating activities. The most important of all, the murdering of her mother by white men, which changed her views of the world, and especially towards the whites. This grew into a personal commitment in her to help the black community. This can be clearly seen in her articles in her newspaper, as well as in action during the Little Rock Central High Crisis.
The author is one of the most influential personalities during the integration crisis in 1957. She was the one who helped the nine black students attend the Little Rock Central High. And she was the one who took care of the...