"No man or woman who tries to pursue an ideal in his or her own way is without enemies." - Daisy Bates
Daisy and L.C. Bates were in their Little Rock, Ark home when a rock shattered their window. A note was tied on it that read: "Stone this time. Dynamite next."
Daisy and L.C. led efforts to end segregation in Arkansas in public schools, libraries and on buses. She was the president of the Arkansas NAACP and he was its regional director. He was also the publisher of the largest black newspaper in the state and she was his star reporter. Together they were a team dedicated to fight segregation.
Born in Arkansas, Daisy was adopted as a baby after her mother was murdered and her father fled for his safety before prosecution of the three white men suspected of the murder could begin. She attended Huttig's segregated public schools witnessing firsthand the poor conditions that black students were educated. In 1941, she married L.C. Bates and together they moved to Little Rock.
In 1942, Daisy joined her husband on the Arkansas State Press, a weekly newspaper focusing on social and economic improvements for black residents. The newspaper soon became known for their fearless reporting of police brutality against black soldiers.
In 1952, Daisy became the president of the NAACP for the Arkansas chapter. In 1954, she led the NAACP's protest against the Little Rock school board for integration of the public schools. She would take black children to the white public schools accompanied by newspaper photographers. When the school board announced its plan to desegregate Central high school, Bates and the nine black students received threats and withstood intimidation preventing them to enter the school. Finally President Eisenhower stepped in and order all Arkansas National Guard units and 1000 paratroopers to enforce integration of the school allowing Bates and the students to be escorted safely.
Bates continued to be an advocate for the students during their time at school and in her later years, she maintained her involvement in community organizations.
"I chose her because here she is, yet another African American leader that I was not taught about in school. It seems she is virtually unknown today, despite the fact that she was a prominent leader who laid the foundation for others in the civil rights movement. She worked with The Little Rock Nine, ran a newspaper in Arkansas and had her life threatened by white supremacists. Brave woman!" - Laura Freeman
The mission of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination.