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Arkansas State Press logo retrieved from digital archives at the Arkansas Studies Institute

The birth of the State Press

As a traveling salesman, L. C. Bates’ desire to start another newspaper grew in unison with the discontentment he felt for the way the people of his race were treated. The Jim Crow laws of the South deemed that blacks had to sit at the back of buses or streetcars, eat in the kitchen of restaurants or be denied entrance altogether, drink from “colored only” water fountains, and so on. Fed up, Bates wanted to use the tools that he had to stir blacks to demand equal rights that he felt were granted to them by the Constitution.    Continue reading