Daisy Bates (1914–99,) fully Daisy Lee Gatson Bates, was an American civil rights activist, publisher, journalist, and lecturer. She played a leading role in the Little Rock Integration Crisis of 1957.
Born in Huttig, Union County, Arkansas, Bates attended segregated schools that used out-of-date textbooks handed down by white schools.
Bates and her husband started The Arkansas State Press, a newspaper reporting extensively on racially motivated violence. She became the Arkansas president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored (NAACP) and an active exponent of civil rights.
Bates played a vital role in the desegregation crisis in Little Rock, Arkansas 1957–58. Her house served as a haven for the “Little Rock Nine,” a group of African-American students desegregated the Little Rock Central High School. This event was a significant threshold in the modern Civil Rights Movement.
Bates’s biography is The Long Shadow of Little Rock (1962; republished 1986) with an introduction by former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Filmmaker Sharon La Cruise produced the documentary Daisy Bates: First Lady of Little Rock (2012.)
No man or woman who tries to pursue an ideal in his or her own way is without enemies.
Surely the world we live in is but the world that lives in us.