African American Archive

The Children Will Expect This of Us: A Response to the Rebel Ride

    This short piece was submitted as a letter to the editor of the Courier newspaper  (hence the short length) on behalf of the McElroy House: Organization for Cultural Resources.  This coming Sunday there will be a Rebel Ride at Old Post Road Park in response to recent national calls to remove the Confederate flag
Category: African American

An Afternoon With Ed Whitfield: Collective Community Building

  We know that many of our readers are interested and/or directly involved in work with food justice, local alternative economies, anti-racist organizing, cooperatives, and community building.  These movements have long been a part of Arkansas and are gaining ground in our state as more and more people in both urban and rural areas become
Category: African American

Muzzled Oxen Part 4: Malaria and Tornados

  In several past columns I’ve discussed the recent publication Muzzled Oxen: Reaping Cotton and Sowing Hope in 1920s Arkansas. Written by the late Genevieve Grant Sadler of California and published by the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, this memoir tells of Sadler’s time in the bottoms outside of Dardanelle, Arkansas where she and her
Category: African American

“Ella’s Song”: The Importance of Coming Together as Caregivers

  For as long as I can remember I’ve always been curious about what came before. As a child, I used to go about my days wondering what stories and experiences once occupied the places I called home. The adult version of that same childhood curiosity is what gave birth to this column and much
Category: African American

Community, Youth, and Barbecue Sauce

This piece was written in partnership with ABOUT the River Valley magazine and the McElroy House: Organization for Cultural Resources and Community Action. You can view the original article here.  We write a feature piece each month for ABOUT the River Valley. Want to subscribe to this magazine? Go here.  Your subscription helps support our work! The River Valley Progressive Men’s
Category: ABOUT the River Valley

Meet the Growers: James Obie Woods

This is part of our ongoing series profiling regional growers as part of the McElroy’s House’s Garden Book Project to be released this spring. Go here to learn more!  The temperatures are growing cooler and gardens will enter their dormant phase to prepare for the birth of spring. At the McElroy House: Organization for Cultural
Category: African American

Composers, Harmonica Players, and Meditation Music: Release of The Encyclopedia of Arkansas Music

The Butler Center for Arkansas Studies and the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture recently published the book, Encyclopedia of Arkansas Music, a comprehensive look at the wide-ranging styles of music that have come out of the state. Including over 150 entries taken from the online Encyclopedia, this anthology edited by Ali Welky and Mike
Category: African American

The Seed of Sally Good’n: A Black Family of Arkansas 1833-1953

Published by the University Press of Kentucky, The Seed of Sally Good’n: A Black Family of Arkansas 1933-1953 traces the descendants of a woman named Sally, a young African and Cherokee slave who was purchased by Taylor Polk from the Cherokee community near Fort Smith in the late 1920s. Taylor Polk, a prominent landowner in Montgomery
Category: African American

Monday Music: “Joshua Fit the Battle,” Clara Ward Singers featuring Geraldine Jones

  Today’s Monday Music is a 1962 performance of the The Clara Ward Singers in Antibes, France during the Antibes Jazz Festival. Geraldine Jones is singing the lead with Mildred Means singing soprano. Started by Clara Ward’s mother, Gertrude Ward, the Ward Singers began in 1931 as a family group. Later the youngest daughter, Clara,
Category: African American

Equality, Hoover’s Idea for Land Reform, and the Flood of 1927

As part of a continuing partnership with the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture, this week’s column is a follow up to a recent piece on one of the state’s worst natural disasters, the Flood of 1927. The flood resulted in hundreds of deaths, destroyed crops, and left around 750,000 southerners without food, water, clothing,
Category: African American