Monday, January 9, 2017

Black History Commission of Arkansas/Arkansas State Archives Event

The Black History Commission of Arkansas and the Arkansas State Archives will be hosting a symposium on Sat., Feb. 4, at its sister agency, Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., Department of Arkansas Heritage Director Stacy Hurst announced today.  The symposium’s theme, “Black Political Engagement in Arkansas,” will feature speakers Dr. John Graves, Dr. Cherisse Jones-Branch, Elmer Beard, and Dr. R.J. Hampton.

Topics include African American Women and the Arkansas Republican Party, 1960s-1970;  John Gray Lucas:  Pioneer Champion of Civil Rights; The Challengers: Untold Stories of African American who Changed the System in One Small Southern Municipality, and Dr. R.J. Hampton’s career in Arkansas’s political arena.

“The seminars coordinated by the Black History Commission and State Archives play such an important role in fostering greater understanding of the important role that African Americans have played in all aspects of Arkansas history,” said Hurst.

State Historian and Arkansas State Archives director Dr. Lisa Speer remarked, “In this post-election year as we reflect on the accomplishments of outgoing U.S. President Barack Obama, it seems particularly fitting to take a closer look at the struggles and triumphs of African Americans in the political arena in Arkansas.”

The seminar is free to attend but registration is required. The deadline for registration will be Mon., Jan. 30. Registration is limited, so be sure to make reservations soon.  Check-in will begin at 9:00 a.m. on Feb. 4. Teachers can earn up to four professional development hours through attendance.  Lunch will be provided.

The mission of the Black History Commission of Arkansas is to collect materials pertaining to African American history for the Arkansas State Archives, to encourage research of the state's African American history, and to cooperate with the Arkansas Department of Education to develop materials that support the teaching of African American history in our public schools.

The Arkansas State Archives is an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage and is responsible for collecting and maintaining the largest collection of historical materials on Arkansas in the world.  The State Archives has two branch locations; the Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives is located in Powhatan and the Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives is located in Washington. Other agencies of the Department of Arkansas Heritage include the Arkansas Arts Council, the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, the Delta Cultural Center in Helena, the Old State House Museum, the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, and the Historic Arkansas Museum.

For more information about the symposium or to register, email or call 501-682-6900.