"The Supreme Court's historic ruling, in the 1954 case of Brown vs. Board of Education, that state-sanctioned segregation of public schools by race was unconstitutional, provided a judicial framework for school desegregation that was tested community by community – often school by school. It Wasn't Little Rock is a telling of stories about Ethel Mozelle Thompson, the daughter of a sharecropper from North Carolina, who entered her children, including Clarissa Sligh, in school desegregation lawsuits that placed them in white schools. But the story line doesn't end there. It is written in the voices of those children, a grandchild, and great-grandchild. Family snapshots, news clippings, letters, and excerpts from legal documents and interviews are intertwined in a personal story of struggle, anger, pride – and the revelation of a family tragedy that led Ethel, a quiet, reserved, 'colored' woman to her activism.
In this book, the artist sought to understand what motivated her mother, a quiet, reserved, seemingly passive but determined 'colored' woman who grew up in the South, to offer up her children as plaintiffs in the Arlington school class action suits. It is a personal struggle, anger, pride and the revelation of a family tragedy that led Ethel to her activism.
It Wasn't Little Rock
2005, 68 pages, 8.5" x 11"
spiral bound, laminated covers, Indigo Digital Press
Edition size: 150
Visual Studies Workshop Press, Rochester, NY
Link to Vamp & Tramp Booksellers http://www.vampandtramp.com/finepress/s/clarissa-sligh.html