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“Land of (Unequal) Opportunity: Documenting the Civil Rights Struggle in Arkansas” offers a variety of records and photographs that document the history of civil rights in the state.

Land of (Unequal) Opportunity:
Documenting the Civil Rights Struggle in Arkansas

Troops of the 101st Airborne entering Little RockArkansas has a long and remarkably complex civil rights history.  While the 1957 Little Rock Central High School integration crisis is well known nationally and even internationally, it is merely one of a myriad of historical events that touch on civil rights.  As early as 1868 Arkansas enacted a civil rights law, which African Americans later used in court.  Even before the Civil War, a few farsighted Arkansas leaders were calling for granting property rights to married women.  When a wave of segregation laws was enacted around 1900, black leaders demanded fair treatment, organized boycotts, and protested loudly. During World War II over 16,000 Japanese Americans, mostly U. S. citizens, were incarcerated in prison camps in Arkansas—which adds a unique aspect to our collective civil rights history. In more recent decades, Arkansas was the scene of a dramatic confrontation in the legislature over adoption of the proposed U.S. Equal Rights Amendment. Even more recently, the state has begun to grapple with recognizing the rights of homosexual Arkansans. Finally, in the last decade Arkansas has become a major attractant to Spanish-speaking immigrants—which brings a different set of civil rights issues.

“Land of (Unequal) Opportunity: Documenting the Civil Rights Struggle in Arkansas” is an attempt to compile in one on-line resource a variety of records and photographs that document the history of civil rights in the state. A central focus of the project is to insure that both documents and illustrations were included, in the belief that photographs, cartoons, drawings, etc., are also important research tools.

While the great bulk of the materials maintained on the civil rights website is held by the UA Libraries Special Collections Department, other institutions around the state also contributed materials—including the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies at the Central Arkansas Library System in Little Rock; the Riley-Hickingbotham Library at Ouachita Baptist University; Ottenheimer Library at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock; the Torreyson Library at the University of Central Arkansas; the Arkansas History Commission; and the Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives, Washington, Arkansas.

So that teachers can more easily take advantage of these primary resources, a group of 10 lesson plans on Arkansas civil rights history plans have been developed.  These lesson plans, which are written for middle school students, are available free of charge.

The University of Arkansas Libraries Special Collections Department intends to refine and augment this digital resource over time.  Users are invited to contact the department with suggestions of additional materials to include.  Likewise, please report any errors you might encounter.  Email the department at: specoll@uark.edu.

Tom W. Dillard
Project Director
Cheri Pearce
Scanning Coordinator
Timothy G. Nutt, CA
Deputy Project Director
Andrea Cantrell
Resources Contributor
Anita Rao Mysore, Ph.D.
Curriculum Developer
Todd Lewis, Ph.D.
Resources Contributor
Scot Oldham
Scanning Technician
Molly Boyd, Ph.D.
Public Information

Resources for Teachers

Five posters on Arkansas civil rights, ready-to-print and free of charge (PDF Format)

Ten lesson plans on Arkansas civil rights designed for junior high school teachers (PDF Format)

Bibliography

General Texts

Barnes, Kenneth C. Journey of Hope: The Back-to-Africa Movement in Arkansas in the Late 1880s. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004.

Dougan, Michael B. Arkansas Odyssey: The Saga of Arkansas from Prehistoric Times to Present. Little Rock, Ark.: Rose Publishing Company, 1994.

Dougan, Michael B. Community Diaries: Arkansas Newspapering, 1819-2002. Little Rock, Ark.: August House, 2003.

Johnson, Ben F., III. Arkansas in Modern America, 1930-1999. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 2000.

Smith, C. Calvin. War and Wartime Changes: The Transformation of Arkansas, 1940-1945. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 1987.

Whayne, Jeannie M., et al. Arkansas: A Narrative History. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 2002.

African-American Issues

Beatty-Brown, Florence R., “Legal Status of Arkansas Negroes Before Emancipation,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 28 (Spring 1969), pp. 6-13.

Cortner, Richard. A Mob Intent on Death: The NAACP and the Arkansas Riot Cases. Middletown, Conn.: Wesleyan University Press, 1986.

Dillard, Tom W., “To the Back of the Elephant: Racial Conflict in the Arkansas Republican Party,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 33 (Spring 1974), pp. 3-15.

Froelich, Jacqueline, “Eureka Springs in Black and White: The Lost History of an African-American Neighborhood,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 56 (Summer 1997), pp. 158-179.

Froelich, Jacqueline, and David Zimmerman, “Total Eclipse: The Destruction of the African American Community of Harrison, Arkansas, in 1905 and 1909,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 58 (Summer 1999), pp. 131-159.

Gatewood, Willard D., Jr., “John Hanks Alexander of Arkansas: Second Black Graduate of West Point,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 41 (Summer 1982), pp. 103-128.

Graves, John W., “Negro Disfranchisement in Arkansas,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 26 (Autumn 1967), pp. 199-225.

Graves, John W. Town and Country: Race Relations in an Urban-Rural Context, Arkansas, 1865-1905. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 1990.

Higgins, Billy D., “Peter Caulder: A Free Black Soldier and Pioneer in Antebellum Arkansas,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 58 (Spring 1999), pp. 80-99.

Holmes, William F., “The Arkansas Cotton Pickers Strike of 1891 and the Demise of the Colored Farmers’ Alliance,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 32 (Summer 1973), pp. 107-119.

Jacoway, Elizabeth, “Not Anger but Sorrow: Minnijean Brown Trickey Remembers the Little Rock Crisis,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 64 (Spring 2005), pp. 1-26.

Kilpatrick, Judith, “(Extra)ordinary Men: African-American Lawyers and Civil Rights in Arkansas before 1950,” Arkansas Law Review, Vol. 53, No. 2 (2000), pp. 299-399.

Kirk, John A. Redefining the Color Line: Black Activism in Little Rock, Arkansas, 1940-1970. Gainesville, Fla.: University Press of Florida, 2002.

Kirk, John A., “‘A Study in Second Class Citizenship:’ Race, Urban Development, and Little Rock’s Gillam Park, 1934-2004,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 64 (Autumn 2005), pp. 262-286.

Kousser, J. Morgan, “A Black Protest in the ‘Era of Accommodation:’ Documents,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 34 (Summer 1975), pp. 149-178.

Library of Congress. American Memory, African-American Odyssey. A rich and varied source. Web site.  http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/aaohtml/

Neal, Diane, “Seduction, Accommodation, or Realism?: Tabbs Gross and the Arkansas Freeman,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 48 (Spring 1989), pp. 57-64.

Nichols, Guerdon D., “Breaking the Color Barrier at the University of Arkansas,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 27 (Spring 1968), pp. 3-21.

Palmer, Paul C., “Miscegenation as an Issue in the Arkansas Constitutional Convention of 1868,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 24 (Summer 1965), pp. 99-119.

Patton, Adell, Jr., “The ‘Back-to-Africa’ Movement in Arkansas,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 51 (Spring 1992), pp. 164-177.

Robinson, Charles F., “‘Most Shamefully Common’: Arkansas and Miscegenation,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 60 (Autumn 2001), pp. 265-283.

Ross, Margaret S., “Nathan Warren: A Free Negro of the Old South,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 15 (Spring 1956), pp. 53-61.

Smith, C. Calvin, “From ‘Separate but Equal to Desegregation’: The Changing Philosophy of L.C. Bates,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 42 (Autumn 1983), pp. 254-270.

Stephan, A. Stephen, “Changes in the Status of Negroes in Arkansas, 1948-1950,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 9 (Spring 1950), pp. 43-49.

Stockley, Grif. Daisy Bates: Civil Rights Crusader from Arkansas. Jackson, Miss.: University Press of Mississippi, 2005.

Thompson, Robert F., III, “The Strange Case of Paul D. Peacher, Twentieth-Century Slaveholder,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 52 (Winter 1994), pp. 426-451.

Welch, Melanie K., “Violence and the Decline of Black Politics in St. Francis County,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 60 (Winter 2001), pp. 360-393.

Williams, Johnny E. African American Religion and the Civil Rights Movement in Arkansas. Jackson, Miss.: University Press of Mississippi, 2003.

Woodruff, Nan E. American Congo: The African American Freedom Struggle in the Delta. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2003.

Zorn, Roman J., “An Arkansas Fugitive Slave Incident and its International Repercussions,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 16 (Summer 1957), pp. 139-144.

Anti-Civil Liberties Groups and Issues

Alexander, Charles C., “Defeat, Decline, Disintegration: The Ku Klux Klan in Arkansas, 1924 and After,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 22 (Winter 1963), pp. 311-331.

Alexander, Charles C., “White Robes in Politics: The Ku Klux Klan in Arkansas, 1922-1924,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 22 (Autumn 1963), pp. 195-214.

Alexander, Charles C., “White-Robed Reformers: The Ku Klux Klan Comes to Arkansas, 1921-1922,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 22 (Spring 1963), pp. 8-23.

Bailey, Fred A., “Free Speech and the ‘Lost Cause’ in Arkansas,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 55 (Summer 1996), pp. 143-166.

Blevins, Brooks R., “The Strike and the Still: Anti-Radical Violence and the Ku Klux Klan in the Ozarks,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 52 (Winter 1993), pp. 405-425.

Cobb, William H., “The State Legislature and the ‘Reds’: Arkansas’s General Assembly v. Commonwealth College,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 45 (Spring 1986), pp. 3-18.

Holley, Donald, “A Look Behind the Masks: The 1920s Ku Klux Klan in Monticello, Arkansas,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 60 (Summer 2001), pp. 131-150.

Lewis, Todd E., “Mob Justice in the ‘American Congo’: ‘Judge Lynch’ in Arkansas During the Decade After World War I,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 52 (Summer 1992), pp. 156-184.

Desegregation and Civil Rights

American Experience, Eyes on the Prize; American Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1985: “Southern School Desegregation” (Video; Episode 3). The pioneering study of Civil Rights shows its age in many places.

Appleby, David, producer. Hoxie: The First Stand. 2003. Video. A fine study of the first integration in the Delta. Appleby used many interviews.

Aucoin, Brent J., “The Southern Manifesto and Southern Opposition to Desegregation,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 55 (Summer 1996), pp. 173-193.

Badger, Tony, “‘The Forerunner of Our Opposition’: Arkansas and the Southern Manifesto of 1956,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 56 (Autumn 1997), pp. 353-360.

Brill, Andrew, “Brown in Fayetteville: Peaceful Southern School Desegregation,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 65 (Winter 2006), pp. 337-359.

Chappell, David L., “Diversity Within a Racial Group: White People in Little Rock, 1957-1959,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 54 (Winter 1995), pp. 444-456.

Counts, I. Wilmer. A Life is More Than a Moment: The Desegregation of Little Rock’s Central High School. Bloomington: University of Indiana Press, 1999.

Day, John Kyle, “The Fall of a Southern Moderate: Congressman Brooks Hays and the Election of 1958,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 59 (Autumn 2000), pp. 241-264.

Fairclough, Adam, “The Little Rock Crisis: Success or Failure for the NAACP?” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 56 (Autumn 1997), pp.  371-375.

Finley, Randy, “Crossing the White Line: SNCC in Three Delta Towns, 1963-1967,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 65 (Summer 2006), pp. 117-137.

Freyer, Tony A. The Little Rock Crisis: A Constitutional Interpretation. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1984.

Freyer, Tony A., “Politics and Law in the Little Rock Crisis, 1954-1957,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 40 (Autumn 1983), pp. 195-219.

Freyer, Tony A., Judith Kilpatrick, Elizabeth Jacoway, and Robert L. Brown, “The Little Rock Crisis and the Courts: A Forum,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 65 (Spring 2006), pp. 1-44.

Godfrey, Phoebe, “Bayonets, Brainwashing, and Bathrooms: The Discourse of Race, Gender, and Sexuality in the Desegregation of Little Rock’s Central High,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 62 (Spring 2003), pp. 42-67.

Howard University School of Law, Brown@50: Fulfilling the Promise. Modern resources. Web site.  http://www.brownat50.org/

Jacoway, Elizabeth. Turn Away Thy Son: Little Rock, the Crisis that Shocked the Nation. New York: Free Press, 2007.

Jacoway, Elizabeth, and C. Fred Williams, eds. Understanding the Little Rock Crisis: An Exercise in Remembrance and Reconciliation. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 1999.

Kirk, John A., “The Little Rock Crisis and Postwar Black Activism in Arkansas,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 56 (Autumn 1997), pp. 273-293.

Kvenild, Cass, “The Civil Rights Movement: Sites for Students and Researchers,” C&RL News, Vol. 65 (September 2004). American Library Association Web Page. Internet Resources. A systematic survey and analysis of Web sites. http://www.ala.org/ala/acrl/acrlpubs/crlnews/backissues2004/september04/civilrights.cfm

McGee, Holly Y., “‘It was the Wrong Time, and They Just Weren’t Ready’: Direct-Action in Pine Bluff, 1963,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 66 (Spring 2007), pp. 18-42.

Newman, Mark, “The Arkansas Baptist State Convention and Desegregation, 1954-1968,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 56 (Autumn 1997), pp. 294-313.

Reed, Linda, “The Legacy of Daisy Bates,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 59 (Spring 2000), pp. 76-83.

Riffel, Brent, “In the Storm: William Hansen and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in Arkansas, 1962-1967,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 63 (Winter 2004), pp. 404-419.

Urwin, Cathy R., “Noblesse Oblige and Practical Politics: Winthrop Rockefeller and the Civil Rights Movement,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 54 (Spring 1995), pp. 30-52.

Vervak, Jerry J., “The Hoxie Imbroglio,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 48 (Spring 1989), pp. 17-33.

Warner, Colleen A., “From Fargo to Little Rock: Federal Judge Ronald N. Davies and the Public School Desegration Crisis of 1957,” Western Legal History, Vol. 17 (Winter/Spring 2004), pp. 1-44.

Woods, Henry, and Beth Deere, “Reflections on the Little Rock School Case,” Arkansas Law Review, Vol. 14 (Number 4, 1991), pp. 972-1006.

Woods, Jeff, “‘Designed to Harass’: The Act 10 Controversy in Arkansas,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 56 (Winter 1997), pp. 443-460.

Homosexual Rights Issues

Crawford, Jonathan, producer. Pink Houses. Lone Leaf Productions, 2005. 1 DVD (55 min.)  Tells the story of a gay couple who experienced Stonewall and Vietnam, and who now lives in Conway, Arkansas.

Froelich, Jacqueline Ann. “The Gay and Lesbian Movement in Arkansas: An Investigative Study.” M.A. Thesis, University of Arkansas, 1995.

Thompson, W. Brock. “A Crime Unfit to be Named: Arkansas and Sodomy,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 61 (Autumn 2002), pp. 255-271.

Japanese American Relocation Issues

Bearden, Russell, “The False Rumor of Tuesday: Arkansas’s Internment of Japanese-Americans,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 41 (Winter 1982), pp. 327-339.

Bearden, Russell, “Life Inside Arkansas’s Japanese-American Relocation Centers,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 48 (Summer 1989), pp. 169-196.

Friedlander, E.J., “Freedom of Press Behind Barbed Wire: Paul Yokota and the Jerome Relocation Center Newspaper,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 44 (Winter 1985), pp. 303-313.

Life Interrupted: Reunion and Remembrance in Arkansas. 2004. Based on the reunion of survivors from the 1,600 Japanese Americans interned in Arkansas, this film, produced by the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, has many touching personal moments.

Smith, C. Calvin, “The Response of Arkansans to Prisoners of War and Japanese-Americans in Arkansas, 1942-1945,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly Vol. 53 (Autumn 1994), pp. 340-366.

Ward, Jason M. “‘No Jap Crow’: Japanese Americans Encounter the World War II South,” Journal of Southern History, Vol. 73 (February 2007), pp. 75-104. [The focus is on Arkansas.]

Political Rights Issues

Boehm, Randolph, “Mary Grace Quackenbos and the Federal Campaign Against Peonage: The Case of Sunnyside Plantation,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 50 (Spring 1991), pp. 40-59.

Farmer, Rod, “Direct Democracy in Arkansas, 1910-1918,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 40 (Autumn 1981), pp. 99-118.

Feistman, Eugene C., “Radical Disfranchisement in Arkansas, 1867-1868,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 12 (Summer 1953), pp. 126-168.

Henningson, Berton E., Jr., “Root Hog or Die: The Brothers of Freedom and the 1884 Arkansas Election,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 45 (Autumn 1986), pp. 197-216.

Kiser, G. Gregory, “The Socialist Party in Arkansas, 1900-1912,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 40 (Autumn 1981), pp. 119-153.

Ledbetter, Calvin R., Jr., “Adoption of Initiative and Referendum in Arkansas: The Roles of George W. Donaghey and William Jennings Bryan,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 51 (Autumn 1992), pp. 271-283.

Ledbetter, Calvin R., Jr., “Arkansas Amendment for Voter Registration Without Poll Tax Payment,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 54 (Summer 1995), pp. 134-162.

Ledbetter, Calvin R., Jr., “The Long Struggle to End Convict Leasing in Arkansas,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 52 (Spring 1991), pp. 1-27.

Milani, Ernesto R., “Peonage at Sunnyside and the Reaction of the Italian Government,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 50 (Spring 1991), pp. 30-39.

Morris, Cynthia H., “Arkansas’s Reaction to the Men Who Said ‘No’ to World War II,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 43 (Summer 1984), pp. 153-177.

Yard, Alexander, “‘They Don’t Regard My Rights at All’: Arkansas Farm Workers, Economic Modernization, and the Southern Tenant Farmers’ Union,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 47 (Autumn 1988), pp. 201-208.

Religious Issues

Barker, Joel, “The Arkansas Law on Obscenity and Gent v. Arkansas,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 29 (Spring 1970), pp. 48-65.

Haynie, Paul D., “Religion and Morals at the University of Arkansas in the 1920s,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 45 (Summer 1986), pp. 148-167.

Smith, Stephen A., “Patriotism, Pledging Allegiance, and Public Schools: Lessons from Washington County in the 1940s,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 64 (Spring 2005), pp. 49-69. [Issues related to Jehovah’s Witnesses.]

Taylor, Orville W., “Baptists and Slavery in Arkansas: Relationships and Attitudes,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 32 (Autumn 1973), pp. 199-226.

Willis, James F., “The Cleburne County Draft War,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 26 (Spring 1967), pp. 24-39. [Draft avoidance by members of the group later called Jehovah’s Witnesses.]

Women’s Issues

Allured, Jane, “Arkansas Baptists and Methodists and the Equal Rights Amendment,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 43 (Spring 1984), pp. 55-66.

Barnes, Paula C., “The Junior League Eleven: Elite Women of Little Rock Struggle for Social Justice,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 57 (Spring 1998), pp. 46-61.

Dougan, Michael B., “The Arkansas Married Woman’s Property Law,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 46 (Spring 1987), pp. 3-26.

Evins, Janie S., “Arkansas Women: Their Contribution to Society, Politics, and Business, 1865-1900,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 44 (Summer 1985), pp. 118-133.

Jacoway, Elizabeth, “Down from the Pedestal: Gender and Regional Culture in a Ladylike Assault on the Southern Way of Life,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 56 (Autumn 1997), pp. 345-352.

Jones, Dorsey D., “Catherine Campbell Cunningham, Advocate for Equal Rights for Women,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 12 (Summer 1953), pp. 85-90.

Leung, Marianne, “Making the Radical Respectable: Little Rock Clubwomen and the Cause of Birth Control during the 1930s,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 57 (Spring 1998), pp. 17-32.

Lord, Allyn, and Anna M. Zajicek. The History of the Contemporary Grassroots Women’s Movement in Northwest Arkansas, 1970-2000. Self-published, 2000.

Parry, Janine A., “‘What Women Wanted’: Arkansas Women’s Commissions and the ERA,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 59 (Autumn 2000), pp. 265-298.

Ross, Frances M., “James Mitchell, Spokesman for Women’s Equality in Nineteenth-Century Arkansas,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 43 (Autumn 1984), pp. 222-235.

Ross, Frances M., “The New Women as Club Women and Social Activists in Turn of the Century Arkansas,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 50 (Winter 1991), pp. 317-351.

Taylor, A. Elizabeth, “The Woman Suffrage Movement in Arkansas,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 15 (Spring 1956), pp. 17-52.

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The Land of (Unequal) Opportunity project was funded in part by the
Arkansas Humanities Council and the Department of Arkansas Heritage.

 
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