Four important speakers will discuss the history of African Americans in Arkansas sports during a free event this February.
The Black History Commission of Arkansas will present “African Americans and Sports in Arkansas” from 9:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2. Check-in begins at 9:15 a.m. Deadline to register is Monday, Jan. 28, but seats are already filling up. Get tickets through our Facebook
The event is free and is part of celebrating Black History Month. Lunch will be provided to the first 125 people who register. Lunch is not guaranteed after that.
Speakers Evin Demirel, Jimmy Cunningham, Jr., Dr. Wilbert Gaines and Kenneth (Muskie) Harris will give insight into the contributions of African Americans in Arkansas’s sports.
Demirel is a Little Rock native and author of “Arkansas’s African-American Sports Heritage.” Cunningham, a Pine Bluff native, wrote “African Americans of Pine Bluff and Jefferson County.”
Harris is among the first black football players for the University of Arkansas and remains involved in the Central Arkansas community. Gaines is among the first black faculty members at Arkansas State University and was one of the state’s first black referees.
The event will be held at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center at 501 W. Ninth St. in Little Rock.
Teachers can earn up to four professional development hours.
The Black History Commission of Arkansas is a board of the Arkansas State Archives, a division of the Department of Arkansas Heritage. The commission seeks to raise awareness of the contributions and impact black Arkansans have had on the state’s history.
For more information about the event or commission, visit or contact Tatyana Oyinloye, African American program coordinator, at 501-682-6892 or