HIGHLIGHT: Gladys Noel Bates

“The Impact of One” is a documentary based on the compilation of historical research and video remembrances, which explore the life and contributions of Gladys Noel Bates, the teacher and Civil Rights activist who filed the first civil rights law suit in the state of Mississippi. On March 4, 1948, Gladys Noel Bates filed suit in the United States District Court charging that the Jackson Municipal Separate School District had denied her and other black teachers’ and administrators’ salaries equal to those of whites with similar education and experience. She and her husband were immediately fired for this action.

Walking in Their Footsteps: GLADYS NOEL BATES

Gladys Noel Bates

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