Arkansas Moments

Arkansas Moments is a special feature of UA Little Rock's Public Radio that explores the history of the civil rights movement in Arkansas with Dr. John A. Kirk, George W. Donaghey Distinguished Professor of History and director of UA Little Rock's Anderson Institute on Race and Ethnicity.

jakirk@ualr.edu

MLK Day 2018

Jan 9, 2018

This year, for the first time, Arkansas will celebrate civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday as a standalone holiday. Speaking at New York’s Riverside Church on April 4, 1967, King said: “I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin...the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society.

Silas Hunt @ UofA

Jan 9, 2018

Seventy years ago, in February 1948, the University of Arkansas became the first major public university in the South to voluntarily admit a black student without a lawsuit when it enrolled World War II veteran Silas Hunt in its Law School. Although Hunt was accepted, it was under a strict regimen of segregation. He was forced to study in a segregated classroom on his own in the basement of the law building. Hunt’s one-on-one tuition annoyed some of the white students who were crammed into an overcrowded lecture theater above him, and they began to sneak into his classroom.

The "Six Pioneers" @ UofA

Jan 9, 2018

Seventy years ago, in February 1948, the University of Arkansas became the first major public university in the South to voluntarily admit a black student without a lawsuit. Silas Hunt was the first of “Six Pioneers” that desegregated the university. The others were Wiley Branton, who later became Dean of the Law School at Howard University in Washington, D.C.; George Haley, who later became one of the first blacks elected to the Kansas Senate; George Howard, who later became the first black person appointed to the Arkansas Supreme Court; Christopher C.

Edith Mae Irby @ UAMS

Jan 9, 2018

Seventy years ago, in February 1948, the University of Arkansas became the first major public university in the South to voluntarily admit a black student without a lawsuit, when it enrolled Silas Hunt in its Law School. This paved the way for the desegregation of the university’s Medical School in fall 1948 when it accepted the application of Edith Mae Irby. At that time, the Medical School was in the same building that the UA Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law now occupies.

This February marks the fiftieth anniversary release of the “Report of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders,” requested by President Lyndon Johnson following 150 major episodes of racial violence in American cities in 1967. The report stated: “No American—white or black—can escape the consequences of the continuing social and economic decay of our major cities. Only a commitment to national action on an unprecedented scale can shape a future compatible with the historic ideals of American society.

This February marks the fiftieth anniversary release of the “Report of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders,” requested by President Lyndon Johnson following 150 major episodes of racial violence in American cities in 1967. The report stated: “We support integration as the priority education strategy; it is essential to the future of American society.

This February marks the fiftieth anniversary release of the “Report of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders,” initiated by President Lyndon Johnson in 1967. The report stated in the area of housing: “Federal housing programs must be given a new thrust aimed at overcoming the prevailing patterns of racial segregation.

This February marks the fiftieth anniversary release of the “Report of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders,” requested by President Lyndon Johnson in 1967. The report stated: “These words come to our minds as we conclude this report. We have provided an honest beginning. We have learned much. But we have uncovered no startling truths, no unique insights, no simple solutions.

Arkansas and Lynching

Dec 12, 2017

Between 1882 and 1968, Arkansas was in seventh place among U.S. states where African Americans were lynching victims. During that period, 226 African Americans lost their lives at the hands of white mobs. And these were only the recorded instances. The true figure is undoubtedly higher. Examined by per capita of population, Arkansas rises into second place just behind Mississippi. In other words, aside from Mississippi, African Americans were more likely to be murdered by a white mob in Arkansas between the years of 1882 and 1968 than in any other state in the nation.

Civil Rights and Sexual Assault

Dec 12, 2017

At the age of eight, Arkansas civil rights leader Daisy Bates discovered that her mother had been sexually assaulted, raped and murdered by three white men. Her father, she recalls, [quote] “told me of the timeworn lust of the white man for the Negro woman…I don’t remember a time when this man I called my father didn’t talk to me almost as if I were an adult. Even so, this was a difficult concept to explain to an eight-year-old girl; but he spoke plainly, in simple words I could understand… ‘Your mother was not the kind to submit…so they took her…They say three white men did it.

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