“The Rosa Parks of the North”
Daisy Myers, civil rights activist of my book Levittown, in her own words.
In my job, I get to know a lot of fascinating people. It’s one of my favorite parts of what I do. I’ll never forget my times interviewing the late Daisy Myers for my book Levittown: Two Families, One Tycoon, and the Fight for Civil Rights in America’s Legendary Suburb.
Daisy was quiet but fierce. She and her family took an extraordinary and courageous stand against discrimination and injustice - and the most powerful builder in America, William Levitt. Yet she remained so humble. She became known as “the Rosa Parks of the North.”
I remember one time while I was interviewing at her home in York, Pennsylvania, she mentioned casually that Martin Luther King had written her a letter of praise after learning her story. “Wow,” I replied, “where’s the letter?”
“Oh it’s up in my attic somewhere,” she said.
Daisy was in her eighties. She and I spent many weeks talking at this point, and she had become a bit grandmotherly with me. We’d go out to her local Chinese restaurant for lunch, and look through her old photo albums. When I offered to climb up into her attic and help her find the MLK letter, she waved her hand. “Oh it’s too hot up there for you,” she said.
Daisy passed away in 2011. A new edition of her memoir, Sticks'n Stones: The Myers Family in Levittown, recently came out. Daisy was a gifted writer. I recommend her book for anyone interested in civil rights and the inspiring story of this incredible woman.
To read more of my feature stories, as well as posts from my longform project, Masters of Disruption: How the Gamer Generation Built the Future, please subscribe below. Thanks!