Daisy Bates was a Black American woman who doubled as a writer and an activist. She cared deeply about children, human rights, and dedicated her life to ending racial justice. She worked tirelessly as she and her husband created The Arkansas Weekly, an African American newspaper dedicated to the Civil Rights Movement. After the Supreme Court ruled that segregated schools were unconstitutional, Bates gathered African American children to attend all white schools. She even created the Little Rock Nine. Bates would drive these children to school and protect them, even at the cost of her own safety. She was verbally and physically assaulted as people threw rocks at her while she walked the children into their school. She was even sent bullets to her home. These threats forced her and her husband to close their newspaper. However, this never stopped her. She continued to care for these children and approve the status of African Americans in the South. She later published her memoir and spoke at the March on Washington. She was awarded the Medal of Freedom in 1999. Her biggest aspiration was to make this country equal for all and to end discrimination at the hands of white people.
Daisy Bates represents everything that I strive to be as a future educator. Similar to Bates, I have an innate passion for people and ensuring every child is awarded an equal and strong education, given to them by people who love them. Daisy Bates has inspired me in nearly every way to become a better person. Because of her, I have forced myself to grapple with my white privilege and call out my own implicit biases so I am able to create a classroom environment where all students are cared for and given equal opportunities. I vow to protect my students at any cost, just as Bates did for African American children every day of her adult life. I will protect my students against harm and hate, as well as teach my white students how to stand up for what is right and how to be allies for their Black friends. Bates dedicated her writing to the rights and lives of African Americans, and for that reason, I regularly read books and memoirs by African American authors that teach me about injustice and systemic racism, so I can become a better ally for those around me. She has also inspired me to volunteer my time and effort to those in need of help. I regularly volunteer and donate to organizations that offer support for those living in unfortunate circumstances and impoverished communities that lack resources. Finally, Bates has inspired me through her life’s work to participate in the current Black Lives Matter movement and donate money to the families of victims of racial injustice. I consistently challenge those around me to work within themselves to remove any hate in their hearts, because as Daisy Bates herself said, “the world we live in is but the world that lives in us.”