Gladys Noel Bates was the civil rights pioneer and educator who filed the first Civil Rights lawsuit in the state of Mississippi. She was born in McComb, Mississippi. The suit, filed in 1948, charged salary discrimination against black teachers and principals. Black teachers were paid one-half of what white teachers were paid, sometimes even less. The case lasted nearly three years, forcing Gladys to work as a secretary and her husband to work in a box factory. Mr. and Mrs. Bates were also blacklisted from all public school teaching positions in Mississippi. Gunshots were fired through the windows of the Bates’ home. It was ultimately burned to the ground in 1949. Finding little support and work, the Bates family moved to Denver, Colorado to find employment.
Local actor Amanishakete Anacaona portrays Bates in the upcoming production, “Walking in Their Footsteps,” on Wednesday, March 16, at 10:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. at Tougaloo College in the Bennie G. Thompson Center Auditorium. A Q&A follows the 10:00 a.m. program. The performance is free of charge. Please share this post and upcoming ones on your timelines. Thank you for your support! #womenshistorymonth #blackhistory#blackhistoryplus #blackhistory365