Resources Related to Cooper v. Aaron, UALR Altheimer Symposium

Sixty years ago, John and Thelma Aaron and others filed suit in federal court in Arkansas for the purpose of integrating Arkansas schools.

The resulting U.S. Supreme Court case, Cooper v. Aaron, established the supremacy of the federal constitution as well as the supremacy of the Supreme Court in interpreting the Constitution.

The issues raised by Cooper are still the subject of vibrant debate. Increasingly, state and local officials seek to avoid enforcing or following federal mandates ranging from the same-sex marriage decision in Obergefell v. Hodges to the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate in NFIB v. Sebelius.

The Altheimer Symposium on September 28 will discuss the history and impact of Cooper v. Aaron, the local significance of the case, and its continuing vitality in an age of political and legal polarization.

The experts at the Butler Center’s Encyclopedia of Arkansas have compiled a list  of our most helpful entries to provide background on Cooper v. Aaron.

Encyclopedia of Arkansas: Cooper v. Aaron

Books Relating to the Landmark Cooper v. Aaron Supreme Court Decision

Anderson, Karen. Little Rock: Race and Resistance at Central High School. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2009.

Freyer, Tony.  
The Little Rock Crisis: A Constitutional Interpretation. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1984.

Little Rock on Trial: Cooper v. Aaron and School Desegregation. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2007.

Jacoway, Elizabeth. 
Turn Away Thy Son: Little Rock, the Crisis That Shocked the Nation. New York: Free Press, 2007.

Kilpatrick, Judith. 
There When We Needed Him: Wiley Austin Branton, Civil Rights Warrior. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 2007.

Kirk, John A. 
Beyond Little Rock: The Origins and Legacies of the Central High Crisis. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 2007.

Redefining the Color Line: Black Activism in Little Rock, Arkansas, 1940–1970. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2002.

Kirk, John A., ed. 
An Epitaph for Little Rock: A Fiftieth Anniversary Retrospective on the Central High Crisis. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 2008.

Reed, Roy. 
Faubus: The Life and Times of an American Prodigal. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 1997.

Stockley, Grif. 
Daisy Bates: Civil Rights Crusader from Arkansas. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2005.


The Symposium is open to the public and will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Reception to follow, 4:30 – 6:00 p.m., Butler Center, 401 President Clinton Ave


UALR Altheimer Symposium Fall 2018


Fairy Tales in a Minor Key by Painter Amily Miori

An Art Exhibition for the Whole (Addams) Family

When you walk into the gallery, the oil paintings look like the best fairy tales: colorful, layered, and slightly too vivid for comfort. The scenes should be familiar bedtime stories, but instead each painting feels unexpected and off-kilter, to such an extent that you may take a moment to figure out which story the painting interprets.

MioriCinderellaWhen you look a little longer, you see that these vivid characters are coming out of their frames into our world.  These people won’t stay where they belong. And they don’t seem to know whether they’re living in two dimensions or three. So, like fairy tales, these paintings have an uncanny ability to get inside your head and stay with you.

The mystery and unsettling appeal of Amily Miori’s work aren’t surprising, coming from an artist who has always incorporated surrealist elements in her paintings.

Miori’s search for a universal theme

This series, exhibited as “Au Pair Don’t Care,” takes a new direction for the artist.

MioriMulan“I thought, what if I could do something a little more relatable, that could reach a wider audience?” Miori said. “And then I saw online some pages of very old, original fairytales, and I started to research them. And I was fascinated by all the changes in today’s tales since the original stories, which were often disturbing.”

She looked for the original illustrations, but found they were rare. “I decided I was going to paint some of those illustrations that should go with the darker, old stories,” Miori said.

MioriPinocchioThrough the Looking Glass

As she adapted her work to larger canvases, she found through a happy accident that her central scenes needed more framing. And that led to one of the most interesting features of the series, the trompe l’oeil embossed frames that suggest wood or leather. These frames, which could be covers or pages, present the surface of a much deeper world that these characters inhabit, like the other side of the looking glass. And behind the characters, as in many of Miori’s previous works, there are textiles or textile-like patterns: brocade, botanical prints, curtains, or even stylized trees or brick that create the same subtle interiority. Symmetry, repetition, and layering create a space that is simultaneously flat and deep.

A storyteller based on an old family photo

The exhibition is entitled “Au Pair Don’t Care” after its putative storyteller, a character based on an old family photo of a woman who looks as if she is going to tell “a dark story,” as Miori explains it. This storyteller, described as a rebellious au pair (or nanny), is the interpreter who has created these charming but unsettling works.

A perfect introduction to the allure of an artistic vision

MioriLittleRedRedingHoodIt takes a unique artistic gift to create a work that initially seems innocent and perhaps childlike, but contains subtleties that modulate its mood to a minor key. Though this exhibition is sophisticated and humorous enough for adults, it would also be appropriate for most children. The youngest won’t notice or understand the darker notes of the paintings, while tweens will get a kick out of discovering them. In fact, it’s hard to imagine a better exhibition to introduce young people to what it means to have an artistic vision, a particular way of seeing the world that draws others into the artist’s consciousness.

By taking these familiar stories and making them strange, Amily Miori has indeed created a spectacle with wide interest and appeal.

Amily Miori’s “Au Pair Don’t Care” opens this Friday, September 14, with a reception from 5:00 – 8:00 pm in the Galleries at Library Square.

Highly recommended for adults and children with parental guidance.

Starting Your Family History Research? Get the Basics Here

Who am I? How did I end up here?

A fascination with family history sometimes begins with simple personal curiosity. Most people don’t know their complete family trees, and a mysterious past naturally leads to questions: Were my ancestors rich or poor? Did they overcome hardship?  Did a certain talent or health problem run in my family?

Genealogy provides answers to questions of identity

FFquiltshelvesOur family histories can explain much about why we live in our current geographical regions, and our ancestors’ lives still influence our current values and beliefs. The cultures that formed previous generations of our family still leave deep imprints on our lives.

Once we have questions about our past that we want to answer, where do we start? With so many online and print sources available, knowing how to find reliable information can feel like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack.

Free introductory how-to sessions at the Butler Center

The Butler Center offers free, expert help every month from our resident genealogist, Rhonda Stewart. In her small group presentation, “Finding Family Facts,” Rhonda introduces new researchers to the process of finding reliable information and to the many resources at the Butler Center.

A complex legacy of migration has brought people from all over the globe to the USA. Some Americans know that their families have only been in this country for two or three generations, and so they must trace their ancestry back across oceans.

RYanDonnabookshelfcropbrightMary H., who came to a recent “Finding Family Facts” session, was in exactly that position, having recent immigration in her family history.

“I had my DNA tested,” Mary said. “And the DNA confirmed our main family stories, which was really good because some of those stories conflicted! We didn’t know if we were Italian or French, but we’re Italian.”

In response to Mary’s specific research needs, Rhonda was able to recommend resources such as Social Security applications that are helpful for seeking ancestors who are recent immigrants to the USA.

Years of experience equip Stewart with many tips for seekers

Rhonda Stewart has been working in genealogy for many years, and has a talent for being able to get through “brick walls” when a trail of information seems to vanish.

“My mother’s sister said that our family stories weren’t true, so I set out to prove her wrong,” Rhonda said with a smile. “And here I am, thirteen years later, working in genealogy.”

laurenmicrofilmcropThe work of family research is often creative detective work, which is why many people fall in love with the process.

“Sometimes, your relative’s friends will really tell you the truth after your relative passes,” Rhonda said. “Have a cup of tea with one of those friends and say, ‘tell me what Mamaw was really like–you know you used to get up to trouble back in the day!’ You may be surprised at what you learn.”

The Butler Center offers extensive local history resources for those who may have roots in Arkansas. The research collection also contains print resources that address wider genealogy and history questions, as well as public computers and microfilm readers. A tour of the research room is part of “Finding Family Facts.”

“Finding Family Facts” takes place on the second Monday of each month from 3:30-5:00pm. The next session will occur on September 10 on the second floor of the Roberts Library (formerly known as the Arkansas Studies Institute) in Library Square.