Daisy Bates, Civil Rights Activist

16 Jan

You know the story of Martin Luther King Jr. Today is the day we celebrate his incredible legacy.

But do you know the story of Daisy Bates? She is, arguably, just as important as Martin Luther King Jr. in the fight for Civil Rights, but not many people know of her. A child of tragic circumstances, she was to become “more recognizable than Martin Luther King Jr. locally”.  Besides being an activist, she was also a writer, a wife, and, briefly, the local NAACP President.

She risked a great deal in order to make America a better country. Her biggest role, perhaps, was in helping the Little Rock Nine integrate into the previously all-white high school.  For that, her life-long dream of running a newspaper was ruined.  “Mrs. Bates’ life was constantly threatened and for many months. She did not leave her home without carrying a gun, or go to bed at night without armed guards posted outside her home” (Young and Black in America, edited by Julius Lester).

There is a movie about her life, and you can listen to her own version of events here.


With much thanks to Sara for introducing me.

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