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

Walking in Their Footsteps: ANNIE BELL ROBINSON DEVINE

Annie Bell Robinson Devine

Annie Bell Robinson Devine was a no-nonsense civil rights activist. Born in Canton, Mississippi, Devine was the trailblazer behind the voter registration movement in Canton and Madison County. When she began in 1963, fewer than 100 of the county’s 10,000 Black adults were registered. She was a soft-spoken woman with a ready smile, whose commitment to change ran deep. In 1964, Annie Bell Devine, Fannie Lou Hamer and Victoria Gray Adams became the first black women to speak before the U.S. House of Representatives.

Local actor Georgia Cohran portrays Devine 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

Walking in Their Footsteps: ELIZA FARISH PILLARS

Eliza Farish Pillars

Eliza Farish Pillars was born in Jackson, Mississippi. She was the first Black registered nurse employed by the Mississippi State Board of Health in 1926. After graduating from the School of Nursing-Hubbard Hospital at Meharry Medical College in Nashville in 1912, Pillars worked at the Jackson Infirmary Charity Hospital, now known as St. Dominic Hospital. She also owned and operated a 12-bed hospital, Mercy Hospital, on Farish Street. In her honor, the former Colored Registered Nurses Club is now named The Eliza Pillars Registered Nurses of Mississippi.

Local actor Georgia Cohran portrays Pillars 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

Walking in Their Footsteps: IDA BELL WELLS-BARNETT

Ida Bell Wells-Barnett

Ida Bell Wells-Barnett, a Holly Springs, Mississippi native, was a journalist, newspaper editor, suffragist and sociologist. She documented lynching in the United States to expose its use as a mechanism to control and punish blacks who competed with whites. In 1884, 80 years before Rosa Parks, Wells bought a first class “ladies’ car” train ticket in Memphis, Tennessee and refused to move from it when she was ordered to go to the smoker car. She was forcibly removed. This incident led her to work fearlessly for the rights of women and people of color. In 1909, Wells became one of two women to sign the call to form the NAACP.

Local actor Krystal Jackson portrays Wells-Barnett 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

Walking in Their Footsteps: ELIZABETH TAYLOR GREENFIELD

Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield

Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield was born a slave in Natchez, Mississippi. When Mrs. Holliday Greenfield moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from Natchez, she took the young Elizabeth with her. Elizabeth established a career as an acclaimed vocalist. Known as “The Black Swan,” in 1853 she debuted at the Metropolitan Hall in New York before a whites-only audience of 4,000. On May 10, 1854, Greenfield gave a command performance for Queen Victoria at Buckingham Palace. She was the first black to perform before royalty.

DeAnna Tisdale, a vocalist in her own right, portrays Greenfield 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

“Walking in Their Footsteps” March 16 at Tougaloo College

Women’s History Month began as International Women’s Day in 1911. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter issued a proclamation declaring the week of March 8th as National Women’s History Week. In 1987, with petitions from the National Women’s History Project, Congress passed P.L. 100-9 designating March as Women’s History Month.

Women’s History Month was not actually designed to laud the accomplishments of African-American women; nevertheless, a celebration of their accomplishments during the month of March is not only necessary, but also appropriate. “Walking in their Footsteps” is a tribute to the lives of five remarkable African-American women who paved the way in order that we could indeed walk in their footsteps. 

Celebrate with us on Wednesday, March 16, at 10:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. at Tougaloo College in the Bennie G. Thompson Center Auditorium. Georgia Cohran, Amanishakete Anacaona and DeAnna Tisdale will portray notable African-American women such as Ida Bell Wells-Barnett, Eliza Farish Pillars and Gladys Noel Bates. A Q&A follows the 10:00 a.m. program. The performance is free of charge. We will also highlight each woman portrayed in the production over the next several days leading up to the event, so if you are on Facebook, make sure you are set up to receive notifications from the Facebook page, and share this post and upcoming ones on your timelines. Thank you for your support! #womenshistorymonth #blackhistory #blackhistoryplus#blackhistory365