Daisy Bates was a boss

daisy bates.jpg

Tomorrow marks the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. As Katie noted yesterday, there are quite a few details that are omitted in the retelling of this landmark, cultural, social, political shift of an event to our generation and younger. A significant omission is the erasure of Daisy Bates, the only female organizer who spoke on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. As head of the NAACP in Arkansas, Bates led the effort to desegregate Little Rock’s Central High School in 1957.

Check out this trailer, below, from a feature length documentary on Bates.

The role of African American women in the civil rights movement at large, and the organization for the March on Washington specifically, is a critical detail that gets lost in the retelling. In commemorating this day, peep the game of some of the unsung warriors for social justice responsible for our more perfect union.

SYREETA MCFADDEN is a Brooklyn based writer, photographer and adjunct professor of English. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, The Guardian, BuzzFeed, The Huffington Post, Religion Dispatches and Storyscape Journal. She is the managing editor of the online literary magazine, Union Station, and a co-curator of Poets in Unexpected Places. You can follow her on Twitter @reetamac.

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