AY Magazine remains dedicated to be About You, which means we are always learning and striving for excellence.
We wanted to share with you some resources to facilitate conversations and continue learning that has been taking place around Black Lives Matter.
Not only are there plenty of movies, television shows, books and podcasts to check out, Arkansas is also an important place for African American heritage with history and culture. There are historical sites, state cornerstones and other points of interest across the state that showcase the significance and experience of African Americans in the past.
Below are a few starting points on where to visit specifically in Arkansas as well as what to watch, listen and read if you are interested in learning more about race.
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As the president of the Arkansas chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in the 1950s, Daisy Bates became a prominent figure in the fight to desegregate schools.
Bates was a mentor to the nine African American teenagers, known as the Little Rock Nine, who led the desegregation of Central High School. Her home became the official pick-up and drop-off site for the Little Rock Nine. It also became a gathering spot for members of the press and public.
Ultimately, the house served as a haven for the nine students to safely organize and strategize. It was registered as a National Historic Landmark on January 3, 2001.
Located in historic downtown Helena, the Delta Cultural Center opened in 1990 with the restoration of the Depot. It has grown over the years to include multiple properties and an impressive collection of historical items that give visitors a preview on the heritage and culture of the people in the Arkansas Delta.
The center has educational programs, annual events and guided tours for the public to learn more. It also houses a broadcast booth with two regular programs. The legendary King Biscuit Time radio show is broadcast Monday through Friday from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m. Each Friday, Delta Sounds radio show is live from 1 to 1:30 p.m. Tune in for some classic gospel and blues music.
Located in the heart of Little Rock’s Paul Laurence Dunbar School Neighborhood Historic District, Hearne Fine Art is a nationally-recognized gallery dedicated to African-American art. Founded in 1988 by Garbo Hearne with her husband, the gallery strives to recognize and promote African-American art by featuring local, regional and national artists. The gallery is celebrating 32 years in business this month.
Little Rock Central High School has become a significant historic site to the state of Arkansas as well as the country due to the Little Rock Nine, a group of nine African Americans who were the first to enroll and enter the formerly all-white school in 1957.
The visitor center has reopened to the public and tours will resume the week of June 22. Outdoor spaces are also accessible to the public.
There are also life-size bronze statues on the grounds of the Arkansas State Capitol to honor the courage of the Little Rock Nine who began the process of desegregating the city’s public schools.
The Mosaic Templars Cultural Center (MTCC) was created as a museum of the Department of Arkansas Heritage in 2001 to honor the story of the Mosaic Templars of America and all of the state’s African American history. The mission of the center is “to preserve, interpret and celebrate African American history and culture in Arkansas.”
In addition to exhibits, the MTCC provides lesson plans and outreach programs for students and teachers to help close the gap in the teaching of Arkansas history. There are a wide range of events and programs available to the general public to promote the center’s mission.
Last October, author of “How to Be an Antiracist” Ibram X. Kendi spoke at the Center as part of an event with JusticeCon, an annual conference organized by the Social Justice Institute at Philander Smith College.
The MTCC will be hosting an online Juneteenth celebration on Saturday, June 20, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m to protect the health and safety of guests. Although this year will be the first online event, it marks the 10th Juneteenth celebration for the center.
1619 is a New York Times podcast, hosted by Nikole Hannah-Jones, that examines how slavery has transformed America from past to present. She was recently awarded the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary for The 1619 Project.
Our National Conversation About Conversations About Race is a podcast hosted by Anna Holmes, Baratunde Thurston, Raquel Cepeda and Tanner Colby who discuss culture, identity, politics, power and privilege in America.
Code Switch is a podcast hosted by journalists of color on NPR who examine how race impacts every part of society.
Intersectionality Matters! is hosted by Kimberlé Crenshaw, an American civil rights advocate and a leading scholar of critical race theory.
Pod For The Cause was launched by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights to further the conversation on civil and human rights.
Seeing White is a Duke University Center for Documentary Studies podcast featuring activist and scholar Chenjerai Kumanyika.
Children and Young Adult Books
The Coretta Scott King Book Awards are given annually to outstanding African American authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults that demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human rights.
Diverse BookFinder is a comprehensive collection of children’s books featuring characters that are black, indigenous people and people of color. It has a searchable database and a live data chart that examines the disparities in representation of races in current multicultural children’s picture books.
Social Justice Books is a project launched in 2017 to identify and promote the best multicultural and social justice children’s books, as well as articles and books for educators, by Teaching for Change, a nonprofit organization. There are more than 50 lists of recommended books for children, young adults and educators on various themes.
We Need Diverse Books is a nonprofit organization and grassroots organization with a mission to promote books with diverse characters. The mission is for all children to see themselves in the pages of a book. The organization offers programs to further its mission and has a list of resources on more places to find diverse books.
“Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates is a nonfiction book released in 2015 written as a letter to her son about the feelings, symbolism and realities associated with being Black in the United States.
“Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower” by Dr. Brittney Cooper sheds light on anger as a powerful source of energy to make things better. According to Cooper, “eloquent rage keeps us all honest and accountable. It reminds women that they don’t have to settle for less.”
“How To Be An Antiracist” by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi explains the concept of antiracism and racial justice in America. Kendi gives insight on what an antiracist society might look like, and how individuals can have an active role in building it.
“Raising Our Hands” by Jenna Arnold calls for white women to step up and join the fight against complacency. As a white woman herself, Arnold provides advice on how white women can stop avoiding hard conversations, start accepting responsibility and finding their place on the new front lines. She served as the director of strategic engagement for the historic 2017 ational Women’s March. Her new book will be released on June 23.
“So You Want to Talk About Race” by Ijeoma Oluo provides readers information on various subjects related to race such as intersectionality, affirmative action, privilege and police brutality. She tackles the racial landscape in America and addresses issues head-on.
“White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism” by Robin DiAngelo explains the phenomenon of white fragility and encourages readers to intentionally take steps in their own lives to confront racism.
There are numerous tv shows, movies and documentaries that highlight the history, culture and experiences of African Americans. Netflix has even launched a Black Lives Matter collection for subscribers.
Did you know though that there is a local community effort to help individuals educate themselves through films on race? The Arkansas Peace and Justice Memorial Movement and the Pulaski County chapter of Coming To The Table have joined Shelter-In-Place Virtual Film Series to broadcast free films.
The first film was “Push Out — The Criminalization of Black Girls in School” broadcasted on June 12.
There are currently five more films scheduled throughout June and July. For more information, click here.