Black History

Mosaic Templars Cultural Center

Recording the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Black Arkansans is the goal of a new project by the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center in Little Rock.

On Tuesday the museum will begin collecting video, audio and written commentary to document the experience of Black people in the state. Christina Shutt, the museum's director, says the staff began collecting newspaper articles and other artifacts when the pandemic began, but wanted to expand their efforts.

J. William Fulbright
Clinton Steeds / Flickr

U.S. Sen. J. William Fulbright is one of Arkansas’ most renowned politicians and in the age of the Black Lives Matter movement his civil rights record is being re-examined.

The Delta Grassroots Caucus is calling for the removal of his statue on the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville campus to a museum and re-naming the College of Arts and Sciences. The caucus said it supports a campaign to educate people about his vast accomplishments, especially those in foreign affairs and his opposition to the Vietnam War, but his failures in the civil rights movement need to be noted as well.

National Association of Black Veterans state commander Lisa  Moss photographs the historical marker for Frank Moore that unveiled Friday at Little Rock National Cemetery. Elaine massacre Elaine 12 twelve
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A historical marker was unveiled Friday at Little Rock National Cemetery noting where a black sharecropper is buried who helped bring a labor union to Phillips County in eastern Arkansas, leading to what would be the bloodiest racial uprising in state history. Frank Moore, a veteran of World War I, would be convicted for his alleged role in the deaths of five white men, and was later the namesake of a precedent-setting case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court that led to his release.

Mosaic Templars Exhibit To Feature Racist Memorabilia

Sep 18, 2019
Christina Shutt, executive director of the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, with some of the artifacts featured in the "Hateful Things" exhibit.
Kelly Connelly / KUAR News

The Mosaic Templars Cultural Center in Little Rock will open its newest exhibit, "Hateful Things," on Thursday. It features what is considered to be racist memorabilia that has been collected by Dr. David Pilgrim, the founder and director of the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Mich. He has spent a lifetime researching, collecting, and understanding racist objects.

Standing inside the exhibit space, MTCC Executive Director Christina Shutt said viewing these items collectively makes a powerful statement. 

On Their Own Terms
MaKayla Ealy / KUAR News

An exhibit celebrating black art is now on display at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. 37 African-American artists and about 50 installations are included in the show On Their Own Terms which features vintage works of art alongside contemporary works.

Sister Rosetta Tharpe, a pioneering gospel singer and guitar player from Arkansas, will be among the 2018 inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She was born in the Woodruff County town of Cotton Plant in 1915 and achieved fame in the 1930s.  Tharpe was among six acts announced Wednesday for next year's induction ceremony and will be honored in the category Early Influences. 

Stephen Koch, host of the weekly feature Arkansongs, says given her influence, it’s an honor long overdue. He spoke with KUAR during All Things Considered.

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.

Milton Pitts Crenchaw
Butler Center For Arkansas Studios

Milton Pitts Crenchaw, a flight instructor who trained many of the U.S. military's Tuskegee Airmen, has died in Georgia. He was 96.

Crenchaw's daughter, Dolores Singleton, said he died Tuesday at Piedmont Henry Hospital near Atlanta after battling cardiovascular disease and pneumonia.

Singleton said her father, a native of Little Rock, Arkansas, was among the last surviving instructors of the Tuskegee Airmen. They were the first African-Americans to fly combat airplanes in World War II.