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Cover image for The power of one : Daisy Bates and the Little Rock Nine
The power of one : Daisy Bates and the Little Rock Nine
Publication Information:
New York : Clarion Books, c2004.
Physical Description:
xii, 178 p. : ill. ; 26 cm.
Introduction: "The bravest woman I have ever known" -- "The next will be dynamite" -- "Niggers have to wait" -- "Who killed my mother?" -- "Hate can destroy you, Daisy" -- Birth of the Arkansas state press -- "Do something" -- "There must be some place in America" -- "You will refrain from calling me Daisy" -- "Daisy, Daisy, did you hear the news?" -- "They're in!" -- "Some victory!" -- "See you later, integrator!" -- "Follow in your footsteps" -- "We made it" -- "To rid our nation of the evils of segregation" -- Power of one.
Reading Level:
1110 L Lexile
Personal Subject:
Added Author:
Born in a small town in rural Arkansas, Daisy Bates was a journalist and activist who became one of the foremost civil rights leaders in America. In 1957 she mentored the nine black students who were integrated into Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas.

On Order



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.

Author Notes

Judith Bloom Fradin and Dennis Brindell Fradin are the authors of two other books about women who fought for civil rights in America: Ida B. Wells: Mother of the Civil Rights Movement and Fight On! Mary Church Terrell's Battle for Integration

Reviews 4

Horn Book Review

(Middle School, High School) Although many young readers won't know who civil rights crusader Daisy Bates was, they will be drawn into this biography from the early revelation that as a young person herself, Daisy was clearly something of a handful. At eight, for example, Daisy, already experienced in the ways of racial injustice, refused to be in the church Christmas pageant. She seethed, ""I don't want to be in the play about a dead white doll.... If Jesus is like the white people, I don't want any part of him."" Chapters about Bates's later founding, with her husband, of the weekly Arkansas State Press are perhaps of secondary interest to a young audience, but they do set the stage for the excellent account of the newspaper's and the Bateses' involvement with the 1957 integration of Little Rock's Central High School, where Daisy Bates acted as an advocate cum den mother for the brave black students at the center of the storm. The Fradins have a lively style (somewhat let down by stodgy page design) and a smooth way of bringing a large cast of persons to life, with each of the Little Rock Nine receiving a good accounting. The book concludes with detailed source notes, a bibliography, and an index. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.

Booklist Review

Gr. 8-11. The integration of Little Rock's Central High by nine black teens led one observer to note, "The devil himself could not have been more abhorred by segregationists than Daisy Bates." As president of Arkansas' NAACP during the late 1950s, Bates defied the delaying tactics of the notorious Governor Faubus, demanded protection for the Nine as they braved mobs to attend school, and hosted support sessions to help the trailblazers deal with jeers of "See you later, integrator" and worse. Although the black-and-white design is somewhat prosaic and the cradle-to-grave biographical coverage occasionally seems more comprehensive than necessary, the scrupulously documented storytelling and poignant journalistic photos sharply evoke the experiences of the beleaguered Nine and their mentor, whom supporters dubbed the "Little Rock Joan of Arc." This makes a valuable trio with the husband-and-wife team's other biographies of civil rights activists, Ida B. Wells 0 (2000) and Fight On! Mary Church Terrell's Battle for Integration 0 (2001). --Jennifer Mattson Copyright 2005 Booklist

School Library Journal Review

Gr 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 Arkansas State 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 (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

The Fradins continue to chronicle the brutalities and triumphs of the struggle for civil rights with this hard-hitting account of the stubborn campaign to integrate Little Rock's Central High School. Bates, journalist and head of the NAACP's local chapter, organized and led the team that supported the nine (initially ten) intrepid teenagers who braved relentless harassment, and worse, from students and mobs on up to Arkansas' now-infamous Governor Faubus. Based both on published memoirs and many interviews with eyewitnesses and relatives, the authors reconstruct Bates's career, from early years with protective foster parents (her birth father having fled after her birth mother's rape and murder probably by whites) and marriage to a newspaperman, to her role in one of the Civil Rights Movement's watershed campaigns. They also trace her later, quieter years, as well as those of the nine students. Readers will come away with a clear view of life in the segregated Deep South, a feeling for the appalling level of fear and hatred that civil rights workers faced, and a clear-eyed appreciation for the Little Rock Nine's characters and accomplishments. (notes, black-and-white news photos, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 11-15) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Table of Contents

Introduction: "The Bravest Woman I Have Ever Known"p. xi
1 "The Next Will Be Dynamite"p. 1
2 "Niggers Have to Wait"p. 7
3 "Who Killed My Mother?"p. 17
4 "Hate Can Destroy You, Daisy"p. 25
5 Birth of the Arkansas State Pressp. 35
6 "Do Something"p. 41
7 "There Must Be Some Place in America"p. 53
8 "You Will Refrain from Calling Me Daisy"p. 57
9 "Daisy, Daisy, Did You Hear the News?"p. 65
10 "They're In!"p. 77
11 "Some Victory!"p. 89
12 "See You Later, Integrator!"p. 99
13 "Follow in Your Footsteps"p. 115
14 "We Made It"p. 127
15 "To Rid Our Nation of the Evils of Segregation"p. 135
16 The Power of Onep. 145
Source Notesp. 161
Bibliographyp. 170
Picture Creditsp. 172
Indexp. 173
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