Brittany Desmuke headshot

About

Hello future historian or inquisitive mind!

My name is Brittany Desmuke, website creator, and as I wrap up my final year of graduate school at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, I want to express my sincerest gratitude to everyone who played a part in helping me to complete this project. This was more than a class assignment, but a journey of self-discovery that I am grateful to have had the opportunity to experience. The city of Little Rock was my classroom, and I was free to explore any and everything that would amplify the legacy of the late, great, L. C. Bates. Mr. Bates was a gem and true catalyst for change in the black community of Little Rock and across the nation. He used the basic tools of communication to bridge the gap from one race to another in an effort to see everyone live up to their God-given potentials.

Thank you to Dr. Kwasi Boateng, my faculty advisor, who put the bug in my ear to tackle this topic and took the time to assist me whenever I ran into a dead end. I would also like to thank the co-chairs of my graduate committee, professor Sonny Rhodes and Dr. Jamie Byrne-McCullum.

Thank you to Precious Scott, a UA Little Rock student, who took time from her busy schedule to help set up the recording equipment and who also spent time recording interviews.

Thank you to the interviewees, Janis Kearney, Annie Abrams, John Kirk, Phyllis Brown, Macy Butler, Banky Hendrix, and Thelma Mothershed-Wair, who took the time to speak with me and share stories of how Mr. Bates impacted or influenced your lives.

Thank you to the School of Mass Communications at UA Little Rock for being consistent over the past four years, and giving me access to the tools that I needed to make this project happen.

If you’d like to learn more about this project or need information about Mr. Bates, please feel free to contact me at bcwright1@ualr.edu.

Interview with Irene Wassell

In the months preceding his death in 1980, Bates gave interviews to a graduate student at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Irene Wassell. He spent many days with Wassell, recalling his life’s events, and she recorded each of them through print and on her voice recorder.

To read her detailed account of Bates’ life, click here.

To hear Wassell’s personal interviews with Bates, click here.

These resources were provided by the Arkansas Studies Institute.

Sources: 

Arkansas State Press (1941–1959). Microfilm. Arkansas State Archives, Little Rock.

Arkansas State Press. The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture. Web

Bates, Daisy. The Long Shadow of Little Rock. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 2000.

Ferrand Bullock, Cathy. “Freedom is a Job for All of Us”: The Arkansas State Press and Divisions in the Black Community During the 1957-59 School Crisis. Howard Journal Of Communications, 2011.

“Daisy Lee Gatson Bates (1913?–1999).” The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture. Web.

Irene Wassell audio recordings with L. C. Bates, 1980. University of Arkansas at Little Rock Center for Arkansas History and Culture.

“Lucious Christopher Bates (1904–1980).” The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture. Web.

Memorial service for the sacred memory of the late Lucious Christopher Bates. Little Rock. 1980.

Smith, C. Calvin. “From Separate But Equal to Desegregation: The Changing Philosophy of L.C. Bates.” ArkansasHistorical Quarterly 42. 1983. p 254–270.

Wassell, Irene. “L. C. Bates, Editor of the Arkansas State Press.” MA Thesis, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, 1983.

Wisconsin Historical Society