Arkansas Moments

Arkansas Moments is a special feature of UALR 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 UALR's Institute on Race and Ethnicity.

jakirk@ualr.edu

African American Women Activists

Jan 31, 2016

This month at its commencement ceremony UALR will award an honorary doctorate to Marvell civil rights activist Gertrude Jackson. Black women like Jackson were often crucial in mobilizing local communities. Some, like Arkansas Delta sharecropper Carrie Dilworth, tied together successive generations of movements and organizing traditions within the span of one lifetime. In the 1930s, Dilworth organized and recruited for the interracial Southern Tenant Farmers Union. In the 1940s, she worked with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People to register black voters.

African American Women Activists

Jan 31, 2016

This month at its commencement ceremony UALR will award an honorary doctorate to Marvell civil rights activist Gertrude Jackson. Black women like Jackson were often crucial in mobilizing local communities. Jackson was born in Madison, Illinois, and moved to an area near the Turner community in the Arkansas Delta at a young age to operate the family’s small farm. In the 1960s, Jackson and her husband Earlis invited the area Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee to hold weekly meetings to give people an outlet to air grievances.

African American Women Activists

Jan 31, 2016

This month at its commencement ceremony UALR will award an honorary doctorate to Marvell civil rights activist Gertrude Jackson. Black women like Jackson were often crucial in mobilizing local communities. In one Pulaski County community, for example, Annie Mae Bankhead formed the Progressive League of College Station in 1960. Bankhead provided leadership in helping College Station gain basic necessary services such as gas, electricity, running water and telephones. She promoted the Head Start program there and was appointed to the War on Poverty Advisory Committee by President Lyndon B.

African American Businessmen- Ulysses Scott Bond

Jan 31, 2016

Ulysses Scott (U.S.) Bond was born in Madison, Arkansas, in 1897, the tenth of eleven sons of Scott Winfield Bond and Magnolia Bond. U.S. Bond worked with his father, who was a landowner and businessman in St. Francis County, before attending Atlanta Baptist (later Morehouse) College. After attending Oberlin Business College in Ohio, Bond joined the family business back in Arkansas as treasurer and manager of its gravel operation. After the death of their father and the dissolution of the family business, U.S.

African American Businessmen- John C. Claybrook

Jan 31, 2016

John C. Claybrook was born in Florence, Alabama, in 1872. After running away from home at thirteen to find work in Memphis, he worked on riverboats and then a Mississippi plantation before moving to Crittenden County, Arkansas. There he began a logging and farming business. By the mid-1930s he owned a reported 3,500 acres of land. The town of Claybrook, southwest of West Memphis, was testimony to his success. It boasted a boarding house, farm store, sawmill, and baseball stadium. Claybrook’s baseball team, the Claybrook Tigers, was renowned throughout the Negro Leagues.

African American Businessmen- Nathan Warren

Jan 31, 2016

Nathan Warren was born in 1812 in the District of Columbia. He was brought to Arkansas as the slave of Robert Crittenden, the first secretary of Arkansas Territory. After Crittenden’s death, Warren purchased his freedom. He later became a successful confectioner, catering many weddings and parties in Little Rock, and he owned a store on Main Street. As Arkansas made moves to banish free blacks from the state in the run up to the Civil War, Warren and his family left. He returned in 1863 and practiced various occupations from grocer to baker, before finally reopening a confectioner’s store.

Arkansas Race Statistics

Jan 31, 2016

Although Arkansas is often portrayed as a moderate, even progressive state in terms of its race relations, indicative statistics can sometimes tell a different story. For example, Arkansas is the only former confederate state to have never elected an African American to a statewide or federal office. African Americans held state offices during and after Reconstruction until 1883. After that, disfranchisement through the creation of a poll tax, and later all-white Democratic Party primaries, froze African Americans out of Arkansas politics. Not until Amendment Twenty-Four to the U.S.

Arkansas Race Statistics

Jan 31, 2016

Although Arkansas is often portrayed as a moderate, even progressive state in terms of its race relations, indicative statistics can sometimes tell a different story. For example, between 1940 and 1970, in the so-called Second Great Migration, Arkansas lost more of its African American population than any other state in the nation. Between 1940 and 1950 the number dropped by 12 per cent; between 1950 and 1960 by another 8.9 per cent; and from 1960 to 1970 by another 9 per cent. There is a bitter historical irony to this.

Arkansas Race Statistics

Jan 31, 2016

Although Arkansas is often portrayed as a moderate, even progressive state in terms of its race relations, indicative statistics can sometimes tell a different story. For example, in Alabama’s Tuskegee Institute compilation of lynching statistics between 1882 and 1968, Arkansas is seventh place in the United States in the table of African Americans who were extra-legally murdered. 226 African Americans lost their lives at the hands of white mobs. These are only the recorded instances. The real figure is undoubtedly higher.

Black Power- James Cone

Jan 31, 2016

The black power movement, a new burst of African American activism that emerged in the late 1960s, has some intriguing links to Arkansas. James Cone, a pioneer of black liberation theology, was born in Fordyce and reared in Bearden, Arkansas. He attended Shorter College in North Little Rock and graduated from Little Rock’s Philander Smith College in 1958. He went on to earn his doctorate at Illinois’ Northwestern University in 1965.

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