Our favorite time of the year is finally here!
It is time to celebrate and dedicate the entire month of February to black history. Follow Sheen Magazine along the way as we’ll share black history facts throughout the entire month. Every day, we will share little-known facts, celebrate those who played made their mark in history, and the historic moments and events.
American civil rights activist and newspaper publisher, Daisy Bates was born on November 11th, 1914 in Huttig, Arkansas. Daisy endured a lot in her childhood. Her mother was sexually assaulted and murdered by three white men. In addition to that, her father left. She was raised by friends of the family.
As Daisy entered her teenage years, she met Lucious Christopher “L.C.” Bates, an insurance agent, and journalist. The two married and moved to Little Rock, Arkansas during the ’40s. The couple operated Arkansas State Press, which is a weekly African American newspaper.
While discussing civil rights at the publication, she joined the civil rights movement. Daisy Bates played a large role in the Arkansas Chapter of the National Association for Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). In 1952, she even became president for the chapter! During the time of The United States Supreme Court’s hearing for Brown v. Board of Education, Bates and her husband chronicled all the battles African American students endured in their newspaper.
Little Rock Nine
In the year, 1957 Daisy was able to help nine African American students become the first to attend an all-white school, white Central High School in Little Rock. The group became known as Little Rock Nine. Daisy’s home became the headquarters for the battle to integrate Central High School, she was also an advocate and supporter for these students.
During this time, President Dwight D. Eisenhower became involved and had federal troops go to the school to protect the Little Rock Nine.
The troops provided the students with security as they left Bates’ home to when they arrived at the school. After this, Bates still remained a close relationship with the Little Rock Nine while they had to deal with harassment and intimidation from those against desegregation.
If you thought the Little Rock Nine students were the only ones to endure harassment, you thought wrong. Bates received numerous amounts of threats but she did not let it discourage her. In 1959, the newspaper the Bates couple worked on closed due to low advertising revenue.
Three years after that, her account for the school integration battle was published as The Long Shadow of Little Rock. Daisy then moved to Washington D.C. to work for the Democratic National Committee and on antipoverty projects for Lyndon B. Johnson’s administration.
Daisy Bates returned to Little Rock during the ’60s and spent a lot of time on community programs. Her husband passed away in 1980 and from 1984 to 1988, she resuscitated their newspaper.
Daisy passed away on November 4th, 1999 in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Honor and recognition
Today we remember Daisy Bates for her outstanding career in social activism. She has been awarded numerous honors including an honorary degree from the University of Arkansas. Many will never forget her impact on one of the biggest battles for school integration in the history of the United States.
All information obtained on Biography
Featured Image: THE COMMERCIAL APPEAL | Obtained on KPBS