28 Days of Royalty: Daisy Bates

“Pioneer. Leader. Citizen. Daisy Bates: The First Lady of Little Rock.”

Enjoy these short videos below – they give you a great overview of who Daisy Bates was to her community.

“Pioneer. Leader. Citizen. Daisy Bates: The First Lady of Little Rock.”

Daisy Bates was a woman before her time – she, at a time when women were not seen as equals, spoke as a leader and made moves only men were expected to make. I am somewhat familiar with her story – as I grew up in Pine Bluff, Arkansas up until 1998. Daisy Bates vowed to make a difference. She was the president of the Little Rock NAACP chapter. Even when the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education case ruled that segregation in public schools was unconstitutional, Arkansas public schools still would not comply with the law. In 1957 Bates aided in creating the Little Rock Nine, a group of nine African American students who would eventually be permitted to attend Central High School in Little Rock. It took President Eisenhower to send federal troops to make this happen. But finally in

Throughout it all, Bates provided these students with moral support and welcomed them into her home. She was an incredible woman who stood shamelessly for the rights of blacks.

Daisy Bates November 11, 1914 - November 4, 1999

Daisy Bates
November 11, 1914 – November 4, 1999

“No man or woman who tries to pursue an ideal in his or her own way is without enemies.”

-Daisy Bates

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Work Cited:

  • bio.com
  • youtube

28 Days of Royalty: Ruby Bridges

Following the 1954 Brown v Board of Education ruling that desegregated public schools in the U.S., six years later little Miss Ruby Bridges (1960) would be the first and only brave student to integrate William Frantz Public School in New Orleans. Accompanied by federal marshals, Bridges began first grade on November 14, 1960. She, alone, was taught by Mrs. Henry. Bridges had no classmates. Bridges met no new friends. Being the only black girl in the school, all who she came in contact with were the federal marshals who escorted her from her home to school everyday, the upset protesters who rambunctiously voiced their opposition to integration, and Mrs. Henry who developed a love for her as if she was one of her own. She soon began to meet with a child psychiatrist, Dr. Robert Coles, on a weekly basis. He later went on to write a children’s book about her.

Children's book written by child psychiatrist, Dr. Coles about Bridges

Children’s book written by child psychiatrist, Dr. Coles about Bridges

Bridges returned to William Franz Public school in 1962 for second grade.

This time around, there were no marshals to escort her and no Mrs. Henry. But there were plenty of kids around, black kids too. A segregated William Franz school was a thing of the past.

At such a tender age, Ruby Bridges made history. Afraid and alienated-Bridges courageously went to school everyday without missing a beat. And everyday she spoke this prayer while in the car on her way (and once even as she walked through the angry mob of people):

“[God] please be with me…and be with those people too. Forgive them because they don’t know what they’re doing.”

A painting of Bridges being escorted to school in between federal marshals.

A famous painting of Bridges being escorted to school in 1960 between federal marshals.

Ruby Bridges Then & Now

Ruby Bridges Then & Now

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“Each and everyone of us is born with a clean heart. Our babies know nothing about hate or racism. But soon they begin to learn — and only from us. We keep racism alive. We pass it on to our children. We owe it to our children to help them keep their clean start.”

“Don’t follow the path. Go where there is no path and start a trail.”

– Ruby Bridges

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To read more about Ruby Bridges’ story, visit her website here.