The Boone County Library is hosting the African American Legislators traveling exhibit through Monday, June 24. Entitled “Arkansas African American Legislators, 1868-1893,” the exhibit is free, produced by the Arkansas State Archives and Black History commission of Arkansas.
The exhibit tells the story of the 85 African Americans who served in the Arkansas General Assembly in the 19th century. After the Civil War, Arkansas adopted a new constitution in 1868 and its provision included the right to vote and to hold public office for black males. African American lawyers, merchants, ministers, educators, farmers and other professionals served in the Arkansas General Assembly.
Photographs of 46 of the 85 legislators are an integral part of the display. Also featured is a complete listing of the legislators and a short history of post-Civil War and election law “reforms” that effectively ended African Americans election to legislative positions until 1970s.
The mission of the Black History Commission of Arkansas is to collect black historical materials for the Arkansas State Archives; to encourage research in Arkansas black history; and to cooperate with the Arkansas Department of Education in the development of African American historical materials for use in public schools. The BHCA produces exhibits, hosts seminars, offers free educational material on African American history, and administers the Curtis H. Sykes Memorial Grant Program to fun projects related to African American History in Arkansas.
The Arkansas State Archives is dedicated to collecting and preserving the documentary history of Arkansas. It is an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage (DAH) and shares the goal of all eight DAH agencies, that or preserving and enhancing the heritage of the state of Arkansas.
For more information about the exhibit at the library, call Nicole Rushing at (870) 741-5913 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The display is open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday at the library.