For the town of Elaine, 2019 was a solemn year as it marked the 100th anniversary of the Elaine Massacre, an event that claimed the lives of what some estimate was as many as hundreds of black sharecroppers.
UA Little Rock paid homage to the deadliest racial conflict in Arkansas history by inducting members of the Elaine 12 into the Arkansas Civil Rights Heritage Trail. The Elaine 12, a group of sharecroppers wrongfully convicted of murder and sentenced to death by an all-white jury following the massacre, were eventually freed, but carried the trauma with them for generations.
“It’s a tremendous move because there has been a gag order for far too long on the people of Elaine,” says Lenora Marshall, a member of the Elaine Quorum Court and representative of the Elaine Legacy Center. “Everyone was afraid to talk about it. Just as Little Rock has the Little Rock Nine who survived struggles, we have the Elaine 12 to raise up as civil rights heroes.”
The names of the Elaine 12 are now commemorated on bronze path markers in downtown Little Rock. The Arkansas Civil Rights Heritage Trail, which is part of the U.S. Civil Rights Trail, was founded by the UA Little Rock Anderson Institute on Race and Ethnicity in 2011 to highlight the sacrifices and achievements made by racial and ethnic justice advocates.
“We understand the Arkansas Civil Rights Heritage Trail acknowledges the past and commemorates trailblazers,” Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr. says. “It honors our past but also acknowledges the horror. We thank our ancestors for what they have done. We acknowledge them, we respect them, but we give our firm commitment that it will never happen again.”
Our House family therapist Kelsie Hammons recently obtained her certification in perinatal mental health, the first in Arkansas to do so.
The UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute added a slew of new members to its advisory board, including Little Rock locals Rachel Parker Harding, Michelle Hastings (added posthumously after her passing in August 2019) and Cindy Murphy.
BALLET ARKANSAS’ SPLASH RETURNS
Making its “splash” debut back in 2017, Ballet Arkansas’ Winter Wine Taste, presented by Colonial Wines & Spirits, has become a staple of the January event scene in Little Rock.
One of the hottest events in town, this year the Splash Winter Wine Taste will be hosted by Cranford Co. on Saturday, Jan. 25, from 7-9 p.m. The evening features a tasting of four wines hand-selected by the team at Colonial, expertly paired cuisine and a live dance performance by Ballet Arkansas.
“Each year, we change the format, but we always have wine, food, music and dancing,” says Catherine Fothergill, the troupe’s associate artistic director. “We are particularly excited to return to our block of Main Street and be hosted by neighbor and season sponsor Cranford Co. It’s the perfect way to celebrate the New Year.”
For more information, visit BalletArkansas.org.
SAVE THE DATES
Cold weather means soup season is here, just in time for this annual Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families event where guests enjoy delicious soups, breads and desserts from area restaurants.
“Tribute to the Queen of Soul: Aretha Franklin”
March 14 & 15
Expect a dose of respect and a whole mess of soul at this Arkansas Symphony Orchestra concert.
Raise a glass to our furry (and feathered and scaled) friends while benefiting the Arkansas Zoological Foundation.
Send your nonprofit news to Info@LittleRockSoiree.com