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Dr. Cherisse Jones-Branch writes new book Black Women’s Activism in Rural Arkansas

JONESBORO,AR- A-States Graduate School Dean Dr. Cherisse Jones-Branch wrote a new book called “Better Living By Their Own Bootstraps.”

Dr. Jones- branch held a book talk on her 4th book Better Living By Their Own Bootstraps, on black women’s activism in rural Arkansas, she says most people know nothing about.

This first major study to consider black women’s activism in rural Arkansas explores Arkansas rural history.

It focuses on black women’s navigation of racial and gender politics to uplift African Americans develop opportunities for social mobility, and subvert the formidable structures of white supremacy during the Jim Crow years.

“Most of us come from a world that background even if we’ve been removed by about 2-3 generations number 1 and number 2, most people know about black people migrating out of the south and out of rural areas, but what we don’t know is the history and the story on those that chose to remain in rural areas,” Author, Dr. Cherisse Jones-Branch said.

Jones-Branch doesn’t want to just tell stories about victimization.

She tells stories about the hard work and power women had to improve their rural communities through their connection organizations, and interracial networks… the untold stories.

“Arkansas history we hear very little about African American women unless we’re talking about Daisy Bates and the Little Rock Central High crisis in 1957 or perhaps even Charlotte Stevens, who was the first African American women hired as an educator in Little Rock,” Jones-Branch said.

Jones-Branch has been the new graduate school dean at a-state since February 20-20 and hit the ground running.

It's important for her that they elevate the graduate school’s profile and offer things like professional development opportunities.

“Just doing the work of growing the Graduate school and letting students know that we are here to advocate for you and if you are interested in going to graduate school, I will help you with that information so that you know what you’re getting into,” Jones-Branch said.

Where to order “Better Living by their Own Bootstraps.”


- The University of Arkansas Press


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