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University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Author, Alum Reads Book on State Activist Feb 2

Author and UALR graduate Stephanie Bayless will read excerpts from her book, “Obliged to Help: Adolphine Fletcher Terry and the Progressive South,” at 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 2, in room 122 in Ross Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

Bayless’ book examines the life of Adolphine Fletcher Terry, a political and social activist, in late 18th and early 19th century Arkansas. Terry used her life as a Southern aristocrat and Confederate soldier’s daughter to improve the lives of those around her.

Through her efforts in establishing educational and judicial entities and serving on various socially-conscious committees and political crusades, she earned a place in history as a model of activism in the South.

When Gov. Orval Faubus and the segregationists majority on the school board closed the high schools following the 1957 Central High crisis, Terry called women together in the Women’s Emergency Committee to orchestrate the recall of school board segregationists and replace them with moderates to get the schools reopened.

Bayless, who earned a degree in rhetoric and writing and a master’s degree in history at UALR, wrote the book as an expansion of the thesis she wrote in 2008.

For more information about the reading, contact Dr. John A. Kirk with the Department of History at 501-569-3235, or Dr. George Jensen at the Department of Rhetoric and Writing at 501-569-3160.