“He wore a smiling face with an expression of confidence”

From Banky Hendrix; former Arkansas State Press clerk and bookkeeper

“Physically, Mr. Bates was a tall, slim, dark brown man who wore a smiling face with an expression of confidence. He was an excellent writer with the ability to express his thoughts on paper. He wrote the majority of the editorials for the Arkansas State Press. He set all the type for the paper, correcting grammar, sentence structure, and lengths of the articles. Along with writing, he handled the weekly payroll and the money in the out-going box every Friday. Under Mr. Bates’ supervision, I learned correct grammar, how to edit, and rewrite manuscripts. Mr. Bates had a very strong voice and it was heard throughout his editorials.”

Velma “Banky” Bryant Hendrix served as the clerk and bookkeeper of the Arkansas State Press for two years. She was a graduate of Johnson’s Business College, advocated for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, managed the office at Fargo Industrial School, and in the 1960s, taught her own “underground” school. She is currently working on writing her first book with her nephew.

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