The Soul Institute School was established in 1970 in Earle, Arkansas, by African American citizens to counter the racial discrimination in the local public schools. Their concerns grew out of protests earlier in September of 1970 which had been met by violent retaliations from groups of armed whites. Several unarmed African Americans had been wounded and jailed in what became known as the Earle race riot of 1970. Reverend Ezra Greer and his wife Jackie Greer, local civil right activists, had earlier in the year organized the Crittenden County Improvement Association to organize protests in the county for better schools and better race relations. Despite having only a population of about 3,350 people, Earle still maintained a black high school and a separate white high school. The Soul Institute School was established and began holding classes on October 5th, at the offices of the Crittenden County Improvement Association. The school remained open until June of 1971 and had an enrollment of about 390 students.
Additional materials related to the school can be found in the Arkansas State Archives general microfilm, roll MG08925, Soul Institute School records, 1971. This roll contains a school register book, 2 newspaper articles, and one brochure.
The Soul Institute records contain papers concerning the Soul Institute school at Earle, Arkansas, from 1970 through 1972. The records include school registers from grades 1 through 12, event programs, and newspaper clippings. The collection was donated to the Arkansas State Archives by Carla Coleman, on April 12, 2017.
· MS000783 School Register Books 1970-1972 (Box 1)
o 1st Grade, October 1970 - June 1971
o 2nd Grade, October 1970 - June 1971
o 3rd Grade, October 1970 - June 1971
o 4th Grade, October 1970 - June 1971
o 5th Grade, October 1970 - June 1971
o 6th Grade, October 1970 - June 1971
o 7th Grade, October 1970 - June 1971
o 8th Grade, October 1970 - June 1971
o 9th Grade, October 1970 - June 1971
o 10th Grade, October 1970 - June 1971
o 11th Grade, October 1970 - June 1971
o 12th Grade, October 1970 - June 1971
o P.T.A. Meeting Program, Soul Institute, Earle, Arkansas, May 18, 1971
o Commencement Exercises, Soul Institute School, Lincoln Street Church of God, Earle, Arkansas, June 13, 1971.
o Arkansas Council on Human Relations, 19th Annual Meeting, January 28-29, 1972. Philander Smith College, Little Rock, Arkansas.
· Newspaper clippings