Next year marks 100 years since one of the worst violent events in Arkansas history, the Elaine Race Riot. Over the space of a few days, hundreds of African Americans were killed or injured, becoming one of the darkest days in the history of the state.
Writer and historian Guy Lancaster edited "The Elaine Massacre and Arkansas: A Century of Atrocity and Resistance, 1819-1919," a book containing a collection of articles that examine the history of race relations in Arkansas and what led to the events of 1919. The book, which was published in June, was funded in part by a Curtis Sykes grant.
“I wanted to broaden the story and show the larger context for what happened in Elaine,” Lancaster explains. “There is a lot of interest in the topic and I wanted to show through this book that there is an even larger story behind it than most people might consider.”
Lancaster is thankful for the Sykes Grant and the opportunities it brought. “It certainly made publishing the book a lot easier and we did not feel stressed when it came to the publishing budget,” said Lancaster. “It also helps keep the price of the book low enough that it might appeal to a larger audience.”
The Black History Commission of Arkansas is glad to have been involved in this important book and welcome others who might have African American history projects to apply for upcoming grants. For more information on grant guidelines, visit http://archives.arkansas.gov/about-us/bhca/curtishsykesmemorialgrantprogram.aspx.