Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Black History Commission News

The BHCA was very happy to learn that Evin Demirel, a past winner of the Curtis Sykes Memorial Grant,  is presenting on his grant-funded book, “African-American Athletes in Arkansas: Muhammad Ali’s Tour, Black Razorbacks, and Other Forgotten Stories” at April’s Pen to Podium.

Often our readers will have great ideas for research projects but do not know how to get started. Sometimes that boils down to the question of how to pay for such a project. This is when grant programs like the Curtis Sykes Memorial Grant Program become crucial. We fund a vast array of different projects related to African American history and welcome submissions.

Over the last year, we have had some really great proposals. One of our recent entries proposed a book to be released coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the Elaine Race Riot of 1919. The book will be edited by Guy Lancaster and will have a series of articles from Arkansas historians reflecting on the historic event. Many of the proposals submitted are for cemetery maintenance or the commemoration of important African Americans buried in them. Another recent proposal is to place a commemorative marker on the currently unmarked mass grave of 19 young men who perished in a fire at the Arkansas Negro Boys Industrial School in 1959.

We have also made the application process easier by allowing applicants to apply online: Once there, click on “Create New Account” and register with the website. You may then fill out the application form and submit it electronically. Before applying, however, it is important that those submitting proposals come to one of our free grant workshops so that they can learn about the writing process. The next grant workshop will be June 2, 2018, in the conference room at the ASA in Little Rock. Registration is not required. For more information, contact Tatyana Oyinloye at 501-682-6892 or email her: