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

Friday Video: Zilphia Horton Cultural Organizing Project

This week’s Friday Video highlights the work of Highlander Research and Education Center’s Zilphia Horton Cultural Organizing Project. This program brings together cultural organizers from around the south to learn from other grassroots organizations and develop strategies for their home communities. Drawing from local cultures, participants gain skills to help them better advocate for community
Category: Arkansas

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

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

American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs

In the last column I discussed the recent publication Muzzled Oxen: Reaping Cotton and Sowing Hope in 1920s Arkansas. I promised a series of columns on that book, and I’ll be picking back up with those in the following weeks. But this week I’d like to call attention to a film that will be available
Category: African American History

Created Equal Film Series

Arkansas Tech University, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities, is hosting a film series entitled Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle. Two films have already been shown—Slavery by Another Name and The Loving Story-–but community members still have an opportunity to catch the final two films before the series ends on April
Category: African American History

50 Years After the War on Poverty: ARVAC and Local Stories

  This Seed and the Story column originally ran in February of 2014. January of this year marked the fiftieth anniversary of President Johnson’s War on Poverty. In his first State of the Union address on January 8, 1964, Johnson called upon the nation to aggressively fight the 19% poverty rate, exclaiming,“We shall not rest
Category: Arkansas

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

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