Arkansas Civil Rights

Mosaic Templars Cultural Center
Arkansas Times

On Saturday, June 18th the corner of Broadway and 9th streets in downtown Little Rock will be transformed into a block party in honor of Juneteenth, the nation’s oldest holiday commemorating the end of slavery. This year, the festivities hosted by the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center in Little Rock will be expanded, in large part because of the Kinsey Collection of African American art and history that is currently on display.

Little Rock Imam, 'Islam Means Peace,' Grieves Orlando Massacre

Jun 14, 2016
Sarah Whites-Koditschek / KUAR

Imam Mahmoud Hassanein says members of the Islamic Center of Little Rock may send a delegation to Florida in solidarity with victims of Sunday’s deadly massacre at a gay bar in Orlando.

He expressed regret about Sunday’s killing and says his community is grieving the incident.

"This is the killing of innocent people who had done nothing," he said. 

According to Hassanein, Islam teaches that homosexuality is wrong, but it is up to God to judge and respond, not individual people. 

U.S. Rep. James Clyburn speaking at a funeral service at the AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina last July.
npr.org

It’s been nearly a year since Dylann Roof shot and killed nine people in a Charleston, South Carolina church. Issues of oppression are still thick in the air with rhetoric from the presidential race fomenting yet more division.

KUAR’s Jacob Kauffman spoke with Civil Rights stalwart and South Carolina Congressman James Clyburn in advance of a planned address at a Democratic Party of Arkansas event Friday evening in North Little Rock. 

Kenton Buckner LRPD Little Rock POlice CHief
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Little Rock's Police Chief is reaching his second anniversary on the job.

With crime rates at their lowest in decades and use of force incidents dropping in the city, Kenton Buckner explains his views on policing, race, use of force, and his goals for Little Rock.

Fort Smith Southside High School's mascot Johnny Reb.
fortsmithschools.org

The head of the Fort Smith School Board says the decision of two members to abandon an effort to bring back the Rebel mascot means the district can move on from the divisive issue and she can too. Board President Dr. Deanie Mehl told Talk Business & Politics she'll step down at the end of 2017 after 12 years on the school board.

The Arkansas Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Thursday in a challenge to the state’s lethal injection secrecy law.

File photo: Gov. Asa Hutchinson speaking to reporters at the Capitol
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Arkansas Republicans wasted no time in letting voters know they do not accept President Obama’s directive on transgender access to public school bathrooms and locker rooms while some Arkansas Democrats are keeping a low profile.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson says he's unlikely to push this year to end the state's practice of commemorating Martin Luther King Jr. and Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee on the same day.

The Republican governor told reporters Thursday he still wants to remove Lee from the King holiday, but says there's no consensus among lawmakers for taking up the proposal during a special session on highways this month.

HRC Arkansas Director Kendra Johnson and HRC President Chad Griffin speaking at the Capitol about an ad HRC is running opposed to a so-called religious liberty law proposed in 2015.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Late this afternoon our often-slighted neighbors to the east in Mississippi are expected to send a so-called religious freedom bill to their governor. Governor Phil Bryant now faces a decision that Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson had to make last year.

Black lawmakers are holding off on saying whether they support an effort this year to end Arkansas' practice of honoring civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee on the same day.

The Arkansas Legislative Black Caucus on Tuesday tabled a vote on ending the dual holiday. Gov. Asa Hutchinson is considering putting the proposal on the agenda for a special session later this spring. Members of the caucus said they want to see the proposed legislation in writing before taking a stance.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Birmingham Police Department

The Pulaski County Quorum Court has passed a resolution to support proposed legislation that would end the state's practice of commemorating Martin Luther King Jr. and Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee on the same day.

The court voted 13-0 Tuesday to support ending the practice in Arkansas - one of three states to jointly celebrate the black civil rights leader and the white Confederate general on the third Monday in January.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson (center) signs a black history month declaration while sitting beside State Sen. Linda Chesterfield (right).
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson used the stature of his office to commemorate Black History month with African-American leaders and dozens of school children at the Capitol, Monday. The governor signed a declaration and lent his voice.

“It is not a time for African-Americans to celebrate your own history by yourself. It is a time that you share African-American history with everyone else,” said Hutchinson.

The Republican governor said everyone must be vigilant in protecting the gains of the past.

Chris Hickey / KUAR News

Many gathered for events throughout Little Rock celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Junior Day, from the annual "marade" organized by the Arkansas chapter of the NAACP, to a day of service at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

While Arkansas also marked Robert E. Lee Day Monday, few events around the state honored the Confederate Civil War general. Supporters, including the state chapter of the Sons of the Confederacy, say they will celebrate Lee's actual Jan. 19 birthday Tuesday.

Arkansas-Born Civil Rights Activist Ozell Sutton Dies At 90

Dec 21, 2015

Arkansas-born civil rights leader Ozell Sutton passed away in Atlanta on Saturday at the age of 90.

His accomplishments in Arkansas include helping to desegregate downtown Little Rock and serving as an advisor to former Governor Winthrop Rockefeller.

Marissa Marisa Pavan Birth Certificate certificates same-sex marrriage
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The Arkansas Health Department has decided to issue amended birth certificates for children of same-sex couples who can prove they were married before the child was born.

Health Department spokeswoman Meg Mirivel said Monday that the department reviewed an order from Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Tim Fox and decided to amend those specific birth certificates starting last Friday. Fox issued a ruling striking down a portion of the state's birth certificate law and said Arkansas must amend the birth certificates, listing both spouses as parents.

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