McElroy House Archive

McElroy House Story Plants

This was first published in ABOUT the River Valley magazine in partnership with the McElroy House. It’s been a while since we posted here on the BDJ, mostly due to the growing work of the McElroy House. The McElroy House and the Boiled Down Juice share a close relationship; The Boiled Down Juice is an idea
Category: ABOUT the River Valley

Hearths of Courage: Growing Beloved Communities

A few weeks ago near Harrison, Arkansas the KKK hosted a week long training camp. Open to ages sixteen and up, the camp attracted people from around the nation and sought to build “a mighty army” to fight against “racial genocide” and bring about “racial redemption.” This is the same KKK who purchased the large
Category: Arkansas

What the Children Will Expect of Us: A Living Room Conversation

Last week a coalition of several organizations and individuals across the south launched a media campaign calling on white people in small towns and rural areas to stand up against white supremacy and break through the cultures of silence surrounding race and racism. Our media campaign is just the first step in our collective long
Category: Arkansas

We Make the Road by Walking: Standing Up Against Silence and Hate

Today in a little community called Zinc, Arkansas, the KKK is beginning their week-long training camp. Open to people ages 16 and up, the camp seeks to build “a mighty army” to take back the white race from what they describe as “racial genocide.” I live about three hours away from the klan camp, and
Category: African American History

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

Here is Where We Must Begin: Water, Drought, and Flowers

This column was originally published in ABOUT the River Valley magazine and it part of a long-standing series with the publication. The banks of the Arkansas river are over flowing. Last week the water went up past the basketball goals in downtown Dardanellle and all the low water bridges have washed out. The wetlands in
Category: ABOUT the River Valley

To Love Your People: Ways to Counter The Russellville KKK-Sponsored Billboard

  This column was originally published in the Courier newspaper in Russellville, Arkansas. Russellville has been in national news in recent weeks over a billboard recently placed at Exit 81. It reads “It’s NOT racist to love your people.” There’s a link to something called “White Pride Radio,” a KKK hosted site with programing about
Category: African American History

Storm Cellar Stories

  Recently my dear friend Suzanne Alford-Hodges loaned me her copy of the amazing book Garden Sass: A Catalog of Arkansas Folkways. Written in 1975 by Nancy McDonough, this book is much like a regional version of the famed Foxfire series, a combination of folklore, oral histories and photos from around the state. The subtitle
Category: Arkansas

Don’t Kill the Dandelions! Make Fritters Instead. (Yes Fritters)

  Dandelions are popping up everywhere. We’ve been taught they’re weeds, something to be banished from our yards and handled with highly toxic chemicals like Roundup. But they’re actually herbs and they play a hugely important role in our local ecosystems. They’re food for butterflies and bees, those creatures we so desperately need to keep
Category: Arkansas

Honoring Local Women’s Stories: Storytelling and Oral History Event at the McElroy House

    Growing up in an intergenerational family with my grandmother in the home, family gatherings and daily life were filled with stories about the lives of people who had long since passed on. Likewise, the landscape was marked by these stories. I knew that my grandfather made a home on what is now a
Category: Arkansas