Oral History Archive

Southern Stories: Campaign for Racial Equality

[This letter was written as a part of the Other Arkansas collective and represents a myriad of voices. A shortened version of this letter was submitted to the Courier newspaper. Please join us THIS Saturday in Dardanelle for a community event and please consider signing your name to this letter and asking others to do the
Category: African American History

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

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

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

Community Singings and Square Dances: Muzzled Oxen Part 3

If you’ve been reading this column lately you’re familiar with our regular features on the recently published book, Muzzled Oxen: Reaping Cotton and Sowing Hope in 1920s Arkansas. Published by Butler Center Books, a branch of the Central Arkansas Library system, this three hundred fifty page memoir documents the stories of Genevieve Grant Sadler, a
Category: African American History

Muzzled Oxen Part 2: The Price of Cotton

Last month we explored a recent book published by the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies entitled Muzzled Oxen: Reaping Cotton and Sowing Hope in 1920s Arkansas. Written by the late Genevieve Grant Sadler of California, the memoir explores her years in Yell County Arkansas where her family worked the cotton fields outside of Dardanelle. The
Category: African American History

Muzzled Oxen: Reaping Cotton and Sowing Hope in 1920s Arkansas, Part 1

A recent book published by Butler Center Books, the publishing arm of the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, examines life in the Yell County cotton fields in the 1920s. Written by the late Genevieve Grant Sadler, Muzzled Oxen: Reaping Cotton and Sowing Hope in 1920s Arkansas is a captivating memoir drawn from letters Sadler wrote
Category: Arkansas

Beautiful Souls: The Courage and Conscience of Ordinary People in Extraordinary Times

At the close of 2013 I picked up a copy of the 2012 publication Beautiful Souls: The Courage and Conscience of Ordinary People in Extraordinary Times. Recently released in paperback and written by journalist Eyal Press, this 196-page book follows the stories of four everyday people who chose to stand up in the face of
Category: Book Review

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