NEIGHBORHOOD NOTES | Community Cinema at Merriam Park Library


The Merriam Park Branch Library, with The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library and MELSA, will host free screenings of films from the award-winning tpt series Independent Lens as part of its national engagement program, Community Cinema. Films will be screened the third Tuesday of each month, with the first, “Daisy Bates: First Lady of Little Rock” on Tuesday, January 17, 7 pm, at 1831 Marshall Avenue, Saint Paul.

Daisy Bates was a complex, unconventional, and largely forgotten heroine of the civil rights movement who led the charge to desegregate the all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1957. 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. But that fame would prove fleeting and for her attempts to remain relevant, she would pay a hefty price. David Gillette, from Twin Cities Public Television, will moderate a discussion with the audience and two guest speakers, Dr. Josie R. Johnson and Nothando Zulu, following the film.

Community Cinema pairs independent films with lively panel discussions featuring local experts and community leaders and moderated by hosts from tpt. These free screenings are presented in partnership with tpt, MELSA and the Independent Television Service. This program is funded with money from Minnesota’s Art and Cultural Heritage Fund. Look for more films on the third Tuesday of each month through May. For more information, contact The Friends at 651-222-3242 or visit

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