In a non-binding vote, the Arkansas Senate today expressed support for civil rights figure Daisy Bates and musician Johnny Cash to represent the state in the national Capitol’s collection of state statuary. Former Sen. James Clarke and lawyer Uriah Rose stand there now.
House action lies ahead. Also the issue of payment for the new statues.
There were many suggestions. If not for the wonders of Google, I’d offer a prize for the first person to identify two nominees from Sen. Stephanie Flowers, a Pine Bluff Democrat: William Henry Gray and James T. White. Hint: Both were Republicans.
There’s much in history to surprise and inspire debate. Daisy Bates, today’s icon, was reviled of course by many whites in the desegregation struggle and after. But there were tensions and tales on her side of the field, too. Grif Stockley’s definitive book provides a deeper portrait of the NAACP leader. Johnny Cash? Well his life was a country song, wasn’t it? And he got out of Arkansas shortly after high school graduation.
Greatest of Arkansas times? Or just sheep among us goats.
The picks are OK by me. I still like Maya Angelou. And the suggestion by someone of Winthrop Rockefeller was appealing too. He moved HERE after all and left a huge Arkansas legacy. (I still think he’d look askance at much he’d see in today’s Republican majority.)