Daisy Bates: A True Civil Rights Legend

In the early 1950s when all the school districts in America were still heavily segregated, many Melanated men and women were on the front line attempting to make a change.

One that comes to mind is Daisy Bates, who along with her husband L.C. Bates operated a newspaper called “Arkansas State Press” where they basically documented the struggles of Melanated people in the Arkansas area, the paper championed civil rights and helped fight for many causes.

In 1954, when the United States Supreme Court declared that school segregation was unconstitutional in the landmark case Brown vs board of education. After the ruling, many schools in Arkansas still didn’t allow Melanated children to enroll. Bates and her husband chronicled the battle in their Newspaper. 

In 1957, she helped nine kids become the first to attend the all-white Central High School in Little Rock, AR. The media called them the “Little Rock Nine”.

The governor of Arkansas at the time, Orval Faubus didn’t agree with school integration so he sent members of the Arkansas National Guard to prevent the students from entering the school.

Bates was so involved she turned her home into the headquarters necessary for the battle to integrate Central High School. President Dwight D. Eisenhower became involved in the matter, ordering federal troops to go to Little Rock and uphold the law and protect the Little Rock Nine. Daisy Bates would later become the president of the Arkansas chapter of the NAACP, she would spend the rest of her years fighting for the rights of Melanated people worldwide. 


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