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APJMM Tri-Monthly eNewsletter (Spring 2020)
"Seeing AR History in 20/20"
Because our hindsight informs our foresight.
Judge Brian Miller (Elaine Massacre Memorial Committee), Clarice Abdul-Bey (APJMM Pulaski County Community Remembrance Project) and Dr. Brian Mitchell, Ph.D. (Elaine 12 Foundation).  Photo by Henry Droughter.
FIRST GRAVESITE MARKER FOR ELAINE 12 DEDICATED
The Elaine 12 Foundation hosted a ceremony on Friday, March 6, 2020, to dedicate a historic marker to the memory of Frank Moore, a member of the Elaine Twelve, whose name led in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Moore et al. v. Dempsey, 261 U.S. 86 (1923), that established due process standards in American law, and led to the freedom of the twelve Black men who were wrongfully convicted of murder in the aftermath of the Elaine Race Massacre of 1919.

Co-hosts APJMM Pulaski County CRP, the Elaine Massacre Memorial Committee, and the Arkansas Division of Heritage joined the Elaine 12 Foundation, along with some descendants of the Elaine Twelve, at the Little Rock National Cemetery, to memorialize Moore, a World War One veteran who was one of the organizing leaders of the Progressive Farmers and Household Union of America (PFHUA).
This ceremony was the second one in Little Rock this winter where the Elaine 12 Foundation and APJMM Pulaski County CRP joined forces to memorialize members of the Elaine 12.  In the first ceremony held on November 13, 2019, the two organizations partnered with the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) to posthumously induct Albert Giles, Alfred Banks, Ed Coleman, Ed Hicks, Ed Ware, Frank Hicks, Frank Moore, Joe Fox, Joe Knox, John Martin, Paul Hall, and William Wordlaw into the Arkansas Civil Rights Heritage Trail Hall of Fame.

Four family members of the Elaine 12 accepted medallions on their behalf at the first event. They included Sheila Walker, great-niece of Albert Giles; Rev. Stephen Bradley, a relative of Ed Coleman; Dorothy Neal, granddaughter of Joe Knox; and Lisa Hicks-Gilbert, family member of Frank and Ed Hicks. 
For more information on the Frank Moore historic marker ceremony, click here:
UALR News
For more information on the Elaine 12 Hall of Fame ceremony, click here:
UALR News

"Part of what makes our history so complex is that while all of us may be characters in it, not all of us are its storytellers…and not all of us want to know the whole story.  An incomplete story told—like the lives of the black men, women and children racially terrorized or lynched like Frank Moore—leads to a present selective memory that compounds the otherness of black people, laying the foundation for a future of continued systemic oppression and dehumanization.  To correct our distorted narrative, we must tell the whole story of Arkansas through our physical, educational, economic and social spaces.  But telling the whole story of our past is just one part of advancing racial equity.  We must also be prepared to reflect on and reckon with our roles in that story, particularly for white people like myself.  We must realize that for generations, we were raised on myths and broken truths of racial superiority that dominated our past and went largely unchallenged.  So once we know our shared history and understand our roles in our shared present, we can reach out to each other and reconcile a future of systemic justice and humanity."
Remarks made by Donald Wood, a co-convenor of APJMM & executive director of Just Communities of Arkansas, during the Frank Moore historic marker dedication ceremony 

JOHN CARTER / LONNIE DIXON MEMORIAL
CEREMONY POSTPONED UNTIL 2021
The first weekend of May 2020, the APJMM Pulaski County CRP had planned to conduct its first historic marker ceremony, local affiliates of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) and Coming To The Table (CTTT).  However, due to the public health emergency pandemic surrounding the exponential spread of the virus strain SARS-CoV-2, this multi-day, multi-venue event, which included planned participation from not only the descendants of Lonnie Dixon and John Carter, but also descendants of Floella McDonald and Glennie Stewart, as well as involved law enforcement personnel and lynch mob members, was rescheduled.  

"While we really wanted to do this ceremony this year with all of the
planning that we have been doing over the last seven months," said Kwami Abdul-Bey, a co-convenor of the APJMM Pulaski County CRP, "we are also a little excited that we now have a full year to plan an even more spectacular event!"

The planned list of events included: (1) a soil collection, (2) a historic marker dedication, a high school essay contest, (3) a New Orleans-style second-line procession, (4) a descendant panel discussion, (5) a spoken word poetry performance, (6) a documentary film screening, (7) a Sunday community remembrance and conciliation interfaith worship service, and (8) the renaming of the 9th & Broadway Streets intersection to JOHN CARTER MEMORIAL SQUARE.
          John Carter was born 1893, in Tennessee, to Ed and Emily Carter, who were also born in Tennessee.  They lived in Pulaski County, Arkansas, in the Gray Township which was located around Scenic Hill area in North Little Rock. He also had a brother, Otto Carter, who was born in 1900, in Arkansas.  They first appeared in a 1910 census in Arkansas with no trace of residence before this time.
          According to the file on John Carter that is kept at the CALS Butler Center, John’s wife Exie, or Esie in some listings, was pregnant with their fifth child at the time of his lynching.  But the census for 1930 places that child at 2 over 12 months old, which means 2 months old. However, in a 1940 census, the child’s last name is changed to Rogers, with Exie as head of household, married, with no husband listed. It appears that she remarried and her husband, who could not be found in listings, adopted the youngest child and may have been drafted into WWII.  This same listing shows Harold and James Carter, and Olney Rogers as living with Exie in Jacksonville, Arkansas.  John’s two older daughters are not listed with the mother as they may have been married off, and John Carter Jr. is not listed with his mother, at the age of sixteen by this time.
          The research continues...

by Osibee Johnson, APJMM intern & UALR Donaghey Scholar

 
Bill Stover, David Wegner, Kwami Abdul-Bey and Clarice Abdul-Bey (all of APJMM Pulaski County Community Remembrance Project) with Connor Johnson (APJMM Garland County Community Remembrance Project)
NATIONAL DAY OF RACIAL HEALING
OFFICIALLY COMES TO ARKANSAS
January 21, 2020, was the fourth annual National Day of Racial Healing (NDORH), an event conceived by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to foster courageous environments for community members to work towards resolving differences that are based on racial prejudices and inequities.

While there has previously been an NDORH-related event at the UA-Clinton School of Public Service, this year marked the inaugural community-wide NDORH observance in the State of Arkansas, which was hosted by the Arkansas Peace & Justice Memorial Movement.  The two-day event began with a press conference at the State Capitol attended by several dozen people, including many elected and appointed state, county and municipal officials.  The keynote speaker was Connor Johnson, a junior at Lakeside High School in Hot Springs who, with his classmates and their teacher, Sean Queen, founded the APJMM Garland County CRP.  Marion Gibson, founder of the APJMM Hot Spring County CRP, also spoke about her organization's plans to memorialize John Harris on February 22, 2022, the 100th anniversary of his lynching in Malvern.

Governor William Asa Hutchinson, II, was the first governor in the nation to issue a gubernatorial proclamation officially recognizing 2020 NDORH as a statewide observance.  Soon after the governor issued his proclamation, the following issued their own:
Pulaski County Judge Barry Hyde, North Little Rock Mayor Joseph A. Smith, Jr., Wrightsville Mayor Terry M. Mizer, Cammack Village Mayor David Graf, and Little Rock School District Superintendent Mike Poore (who issued the first public school district proclamation in the nation).  U.S. Senator John Boozman also sent a letter of greetings, and U.S. Congressman French Hill's office called, since they were both required to stay in Washington, D.C., for the impeachment proceedings. 

The highlight of the 2020 NDORH two-day event in Arkansas was a special multi-sensory performance remembering the historical victims of racialized violence in Pulaski County by the Philander Smith College Creatives, directed by Dr. Carla Carter, with an opening by the Rev. Dr. Denise Donnell.  The performance took place at the CALS Ron Robinson Theater, preceding a FREE public screening of "True Justice: Bryan Stevenson's Fight for Equality," co-sponsored by HBO Documentary Films. 

After the film screening, Clarice Abdul-Bey moderated an interfaith panel discussion featuring Associate Professor I. Malik Saafir (Philander Smith College), Pastor Preston Clegg (Second Baptist Church-Downtown), Honorable Annabelle Davis Clinton Imber Tuck (Congregation B'nai Israel), Rev. Dr. Denise Donnell (Human Rights Coalition-Arkansas), and Dr. Sara Tariq (Madina Institute).

Check out the Philander Smith College Creatives special performance below:
Much of adult my life, I’ve been struggled with the impact that racism has had on the State of Arkansas. This concern was heightened when I became aware that my mother’s side of the family owned the Hollywood Plantation near Winchester, Arkansas. 

On Martin Luther King, Jr., Day 2019, I visited the restored plantation house with my wife and grandchildren. Our Job, along with many others, was to clear the plantation’s slave cemetery.  Great sadness overwhelmed me as I cleaned out the briars and brambles away from their grave stones.

Shortly after that, my friend, Bill Stover, and I asked each other, and ourselves, how we could get involved to bring about racial reconciliation here in Central Arkansas.  I had heard of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) in Montgomery, Alabama.  Bill Stover called them and asked if there was anyone here in Central Arkansas with whom we could partner to facilitate racial reconciliation.  They put us in touch with Kwami and Clarice Abdul-Bey.

Over a period of two months, we have had several honest conversations which began to break down our misconceptions that we had of one another.  I want to stress the word "began."  We have a long way to go, but we are laying a foundation of mutual trust and respect.  As we continued to lay this foundation, something dawned on me: this is the key to bringing our much longed-for healing between our races.

With this in mind, the four of us founded the first Arkansas chapter of Coming To The Table (CTTT).  We had all made plans to attend the Leadership Training Workshop at the 2020 CTTT National Gathering in June, held at the Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia.  However, due to the current global pandemic, this has now been cancelled.

The national gatherings is designed to build bridges between all races where there is no trust or honesty.  This workshop was structured to empower us to facilitate community discussions where community members can communicate openly and honestly over some very difficult subjects.

We are excited to be working together to shine a light on the importance of healing for things that have separated us for decades.

by David Wenger, APJMM Pulaski County CRP
MISSISSIPPI HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS COME TO
LITTLE ROCK TO MEMORIALIZE THE WRIGHTSVILLE 21
On February 27-28, 2020, APJMM partnered with the Black History Commission of Arkansas, the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, and the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site, to bring the acclaimed and award-winning scholastic production "Death By Design: The Secret Holocaust in Wrightsville, Arkansas" to Arkansas for its debut performance in the state. 

The Meridian High School Department of Theater and Performing Arts, led by teacher Randy Ferrino Wayne, created a production that told the story of how twenty-one of the teenage boys living at the Arkansas Negro Boys Industrial School died in a mysterious fire on May 5, 1959.  The play was inspired by the book "Black Boys Burning: The 1959 Fire at the Arkansas Negro Boys Industrial School" by Little Rock attorney Grif Stockley.

Each of the three "sold out" showings of the FREE play were attended by several elected and appointed public officials, interested citizens from throughout the state, and several descendants, family members, and surviving fellow inmates of the Wrightsville 21.

In addition, Vera Rideout who teaches 5th grade at Coleman Intermediate School in Pine Bluff, brought her entire class and their parents to the Friday night showing.
Her students were so impacted by their experience that she sent APJMM the following email the next week:

"On March 5, 2020, the 60th anniversary of the tragic fire, my fifth grade students hosted an informal reception in their classroom where they made presentations using oral, printed and digital mediums describing the history surrounding the tragic death of the boys.  The students applied essential standards across curricula [literacy, science, computer science, math and social studies] to learn and embrace an era of Arkansas history about which few adults are knowledgeable.  #LearningHistory2MakeHistory"

Also at the Friday night showing, after the Philander Smith College Creatives opened with an encore presentation of their community remembrance performance with Rev. Donnell (see above),  State Representative Monte Hodge, the author of Arkansas House Resolution 1049 entitled "To Remember the 1959 Fire at the Arkansas Negro Boys Industrial School," spoke to the audience and officially apologized to the everyone for what happened.  Then, at the end of the play, Lyndajo Jones, of the Arkansas Office of the Secretary of State, presented each member of the cast and crew with an official Arkansas Traveler certificate.
"Meridian High School Wildcat Players would like to thank the City of Little Rock, as well as the State of Arkansas, for welcoming us with such open arms and allowing us to come and celebrate Black History Month, as we open a portal in history allowing our audience to be enlightened about the history of African Americans in Arkansas."
--Randy Ferrino Wayne
The APJMM Pulaski County Community Remembrance Project  operates solely off of the generosity of the citizens and businesses in Pulaski County. 

Our 15-month campaign "Seeing AR History in 20/20" uses
arts-infused, educational activities to use our hindsight to
inform our foresight.  Link below and select
Arkansas Peace & Justice Memorial Movement.
DONATE NOW
ARKANSAS PEACE & JUSTICE MEMORIAL MOVEMENT (APJMM) is a joint project between Just Communities of Arkansas (JCA) and Washitaw Foothills Youth Media Arts & Literacy Collective (WFYMALC).
In this next issue:
We leave you with Donald Wood's favorite short video on system racism:
Systemic racism affects every area of life in the US. From incarceration rates to predatory
loans, and trying to solve these problems requires changes in major parts of our system.
Here's a closer look at what systemic racism is, and how we can solve it.

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