Cover image for Bitters in the honey : tales of hope and disappointment across divides of race and time
Bitters in the honey : tales of hope and disappointment across divides of race and time
Roy, Beth.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Fayetteville : University of Arkansas Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
vi, 400 pages ; 24 cm

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
LC214.23.L56 R69 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



"Most Americans are familiar with the story of what happened at Little Rock's Central High School in September of 1957. Indeed, the image of Central High's massive double staircase - and of nine black teenagers climbing that staircase, clutching their schoolbooks, surrounded by National Guardsmen with fixed bayonets - has become wedded in the American consciousness to the history of the civil-rights struggle in this country." "Now, drawing on oral histories, Beth Roy tells the story of Central High from a fresh angle. Her interviews with white alumni of Central High investigate the reasons behind their resistance to desegregation. The alumni, now near retirement age, tell stories of the shaping of white identities in the latter half of the twentieth century, of dissatisfaction and even anger lingering still after forty years. This treatment of the Central High crisis is unique among studies done to date. It will help readers to better comprehend the complexity of racism, not only as it was evidenced at Central High in 1957, but as it continues to impact our lives today."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Concentrating on whites who resisted integration, Roy draws stories from 60 people about the crisis that took place in 1957 in Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. She traveled for some interviews and met her subjects through a chain of acquaintances. Roy seeks to blend their disparate versions to illuminate other important themes such as why white Americans feel they lack the power to change conditions and why people blame race for problems that may be tied to social class or gender. The stories are divided into three parts. First, Roy explores the conditions of segregation before the controversy. Second, she describes what some white students recall feeling during the desegregation. In the last section Roy considers solutions such as helping individuals who disapprove of racism to declare their feelings and enabling schools to break traditional practices such as using Eurocentric texts. This book joins several other personal accounts, including Sara Alderman Murphy's Breaking the Silence: Little Rock's Women's Emergency Committee to Open Our Schools, 1958-1963 (CH, Dec'97). Matched with histories such as Tony Freyer's The Little Rock Crisis (1984), these stories may further illuminate this controversy. General readers, upper-division undergraduates and above. J. Watras; University of Dayton