Born on November 11, 1914, Daisy Bates was the president of the Arkansas state conference of the NAACP and was instrumental in the battle to integrate Little Rock’s Central High School in 1957.

Daisy Bates (
Daisy Bates

Just over 50 years ago, a rock shattered the picture window of a light-brick house in Little Rock, Ark. A note was tied to it that read: “Stone this time. Dynamite next.” The house belonged to Daisy and L.C. Bates. The couple led efforts to end segregation in Arkansas — on buses, in libraries and in the public schools. On Monday, the nation will mark 50 years since black students integrated Central High School in Little Rock. “Mrs. Bates was the person for the moment,” says Annie Abrams, a friend of Daisy Bates who was one of many black residents active at the time of the crisis. “Daisy Bates was the poster child of black resistance. She was a quarterback, the coach. We were the players,” says Ernest Green, one of the Little Rock Nine, the group of students who integrated Central High School. “She was conditioned to know that the civil rights movement was moving forward,” Sybil Jordan Hampton, one of the first African American students to graduate from Central High, says.

Daisy Bates helped drive the movement in Little Rock.She guided the nine students, known as the Little Rock Nine, who had enrolled in a previously all-white school.


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