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A voice for the rights of women as well as the right to a quality education, Mrs. Daisy Bates was a “heroine of the Civil Rights Movement.” A childhood marred by tragedy (Bates lost her parents when her mother was killed and her father abandoned her shortly after her mother’s death), Bates helped her husband run his newspaper while also working for the National Association for Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). It was her work with the NAACP that made her a household name during the late 1950’s because it was during this time that Daisy Bates began her work to help the first African-American students (The Little Rock Nine) attend Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Her story is a universal one of fortitude, perseverance, and courage. I salute Mrs. Bates’ passion and determination during a time when women had very little voice and no real power to be a change agent. However, she did become a change agent during the Civil Rights Movement and a pioneer in the Women’s Movement as well. Learn more about Mrs. Daisy Lee Gatson Bates on Independent Lens at PBS. tlb