Mr. Fred Bates was very active in the McComb Movement, especially at the time of the 1961 black school student walk-out in protest of the school principal’s refusal to re-admit Brenda Travis. Mr. Bates owned a gasoline station, bus and taxi transportation service, and he transported people to visit Brenda Travis in detention at Oakley. He later transported the protesting Burglund High School students, who had been expelled from school, to Campbell Junior College in Jackson, where they continued their high school classes.
In April 1963, Mr. Bates’s home was shot into. This assault was one of the series of violent attacks made against black people, their homes, and businesses in an effort to keep the Movement from continuing in McComb.