African American History Archive

The United People’s Co-Op in Mississippi County, Arkansas, 1969.

Several months ago this column featured some research on the history and origins of the regional organization, ARVAC and the larger, national VISTA program that helped to create programs such as ARVAC. Created in 1965, the VISTA program was part of President Johnson’s War on Poverty and the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964. Throughout the
Category: African American History

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

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

High Waters and Social Change: The Flood of 1927

This week’s Seed and the Story column is part of an ongoing partnership with the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture.  Be sure and check out this great online resource here.  Flash floods have wrecked havoc on the state in recent weeks, causing damage to roads and bridges and, in a few cases, leading to
Category: African American History

Seeking Meaning in Decoration Days, Past and Future

Throughout the month of May people will take part in the tradition of Decoration Days, a time to come together to decorate the graves of loved ones.  According to many historians, the holiday began in connection with Memorial Day as a way to honor the huge numbers of Civil War dead, many of who were
Category: African American History

Democracy, Dialogue, and Community Action:Truth and Reconciliation in Greensboro.

A recent book published by the University of Arkansas Press, Democracy, Dialogue, and Community Action: Truth and Reconciliation in Greensboro, follows the work of the Greensboro, North Carolina Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a citizen led initiative exploring the events of November of 1979 when five Greensboro protesters were shot and killed by the Ku Klux
Category: a. Slider

“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

Firebrands: Portraits from the Americas by Just Seeds Artists’ Cooperative

Published in 2010, Firebrands: Portraits from the Americas, is a collection of 100 plus portraits and short biographies of people who fought for freedom and equality in North, South, and Central America. A historical record and an inspirational primer, this collection, reads the introduction, “is for anyone who has sat, trembling with frustration and disappointment, in a
Category: African American History