The Giants Wore White Gloves

“These courageous women changed the course of Civil Rights history, and are national heroes.”

A group of respectable middle-class white women fought Governor Faubus’ and the segregationists’ order to close Little Rock’s public schools -- and won!

The story of the Women’s Emergency Committee to Open Our Schools has never been told, till now.
Award winning documentary filmmaker Sandra Hubbard explores the courage and commitment of these “giants” -- from their initial secret meetings to their honor four decades later by the National Education Association's Civil Rights Award.

The 1958 school year began with a vote by the public, brought on by legislation passed in the Legislature that summer to close the four high schools in the city of Little Rock, Arkansas and once again avoid integration.

A group of respectable middle-class white women, faced with the prospect of no schools, as well as the further loss of their city’s good name, turned militant.  

Led by Adolphine Fletcher Terry, a prominent ‘old family’ civic leader in her seventies, they quickly put together the Women’s Emergency Committee to Open Our Schools (WEC), a highly effective organization that bombarded the city with ads, fliers and statements challenging Faubus and the segregationists’ action.

“At peak membership, the WEC numbered more than two thousand. Largely inexperienced in politics when they joined the WEC, these women became articulate, confident promoters of public schools and helped them to understand that those schools must remain open.”

Dr. Sara Alderman Murphy - Breaking the Silence

Forty five years later, these courageous women are honored for their work in changing the course of civil rights history. With integrity, they withstood the challenges of the battle, accomplished their goal of reopening the city high schools and went on to be a political force until they disbanded in 1963.
In 1999, the Women’s Emergency Committee to Open Our Schools was awarded the National Education Association’s Civil Rights Award.

The Giants Wore White Gloves is a powerful and moving documentary that explores the little-known story behind the women and political leaders behind the resolution of the Little Rock integration crisis.

“A rare and valuable piece of history!”

Seated, Interviewed members of the WEC: Jane Mendel, Dorothy Morris, Pat House, Irene Samuel.
Standing: film crew: Rod Laver, Bob Hooper, Mo Emison, Sandra Hubbard, Tommy Alford, Kyle Cassil.

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