African American Archive

Radio Interview with Michael Vincent Williams, Author of Medgar Evers: Mississippi Martyr.

You may recall one of our recent Seed and the Story columns highlighting the 2012 publication Medgar Evers: Mississippi Martyr.  Written by Michael Vinson Williams and published by the University of Arkansas Press, this work explores the life and death of a human rights leader who dedicated his life to fighting for equality in Mississippi and
Category: African American

Monday Music: “John Henry” played by Lesley Riddle

Week before last we posted about the book The Carter Family: Don’t Forget This Song,  a graphic novel tracing the history of the Carter family and their influence on American music.  One of the key figures in the lives of the Carter and represented in the book is guitar player Lesley Riddle, an African American folk musician
Category: African American

Friday Video: Sister Rosetta Tharpe on PBS American Masters

Born in Cotton Plant, Arkansas in 1915, Sister Rosetta Tharpe (Rosetta Nubin Tharpe) is considered the Godmother of rock and soul, influencing musicians like Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, and countless others. She merged the sacred and the secular both lyrically and stylistically, creating a new style of playing that was full of passion. Quoting from
Category: African American

“The Thirteen,” an Exhibit and Live Music/Spoken Word Performance Paying Homage to Thirteen Black Women Lynched in Kentucky.

The Morlan Gallary on the campus of Transylvania University in central Kentucky is currently hosting the exhibit “The Thirteen,” a visual art exhibition and live musical/spoken word performance paying homage to thirteen black women and girls who were lynched or otherwise violently murdered in Kentucky. According to the university, “The exhibit will feature photographs and video
Category: African American

Medgar Evers, Mississippi Martyr.

The Seed and the Story is a weekly column exploring folklife, oral history, and community in central Arkansas, particularly the Yell County area where the column originates. The column is published in the Post Dispatch and is syndicated in the Courier. You can read previous columns here.  In 1963 civil right activist and NAACP field secretary Medgar Evers
Category: African American

Monday Music: Naomi Shelton and the Gospel Queens “What Have You Done, My Brother?”

Today’s Monday Music comes from the amazing Naomi Shelton and the Gospel Queens. Growing up singing in churches in Alabama, Shelton went on to sing in many soul clubs in New York before forming the current group with piano player and creative director Cliff Davis. The 2009 release What Have You Done, My Brother? on Daptone
Category: African American

Friday Video: “We Got to Have More Love, More Understanding…” Sister Rosetta Tharpe, France, 1960

If you’re not familiar with Arkansas’s own Sister Rosetta Tharpe, here’s a bit of background on this amazing woman from Cotton Plant who bridged the worlds of sacred and secular music.  From the Arkansas Encylcopedia: Rosetta Nubin was born in Cotton Plant (Woodruff County) on March 20, 1915, to Katie Bell Nubin, an evangelist, singer, and mandolin
Category: African American