KASU

Arkansas Scholars Reveal Little Known African-American Involvement in Civil Rights

Nov 23, 2016

There are many stories in the history books about African-Americans in Civil Rights Activism.  Here in Arkansas, most people remember the story of 9 Black students who were integrated into Central High School in Little Rock or Daisy Bates. 

However, African Americans in Arkansas made more contributions to civil rights than what was recorded in the history books.  The Arkansas Humanities Council wants the public to hear the stories of civil rights activism in the state. 

The state Humanities Council, along with the Arkansas Black History Commission, and several scholars from around the state contributed to an exhibit called “Foot Soldiers for Freedom.”  According to the Humanities Council website, the exhibit “chronicles many everyday people and lesser-known events that were part of the struggle for Civil Rights in Arkansas.”

Dr. Cherisse Jones-Branch is a Professor of History at Arkansas State University and is an appointee to the state Humanities Council and the state Black History Commission.  She was one of the scholars involved with the exhibit and she stopped by KASU to talk about the exhibit and her latest project.

Click on the link above to hear about the exhibit, where it is headed to next, and how Branch's latest project redefines the roles some African-American women played in rural Arkansas at a time when being both presented great challenges.