Sharon La Cruise works for the Ford Foundation in the JustFilms unit. She has worked in television and film for 20 years, both in the corporate and production aspects of the business. She recently completed her first film, Daisy Bates: First Lady of Little Rock, a feature-length documentary on civil rights activist Daisy Bates, which was broadcast in 2012 on PBS’ Independent Lens. She began her television career with ABC in primetime sales. She has worked on: Dixie Chicks: Shut up & Sing; Going Up River: The Long War of John Kerry; Beyond Brown: Pursuing the Promise; Citizen King; Matters of Race; This Far By Faith: African-American Spiritual Journeys; Zora Neale Hurston: Jump at the Sun; and CNN’s Through the Lens, The Road to the White House and The Planetary Police. She is a member of the International Documentary Association. She holds an M.A. in television journalism from New York University, and a B.A. in history from Adelphi University.
About the Film
Daisy Bates: First Lady of Little Rock tells the story of a seven-year journey by filmmaker Sharon La Cruise, to unravel the life of a forgotten civil rights activist named Daisy Bates. In 1957, Bates became a household name when she fought for the right of nine black students to attend the all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. Bates’ public support culminated in a constitutional crisis—pitting a president against a governor and a community against each other. As head of the Arkansas NAACP and protector of the nine students, Daisy Bates would achieve instant fame as the drama played out on national television and in newspapers around the world. Ultimately the fame would prove fleeting, and for her attempts to remain relevant, she would pay a hefty price. This documentary travels with Daisy Bates on her long and lonely walk from orphaned child to newspaperwoman to national Civil Rights figure to her last days in Little Rock.