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Bailey Library Hosts African American Legislators Exhibit

Posted: February 21, 2014 - 9:28pm

The Olin C. Bailey Library at Hendrix College will host Arkansas African American Legislators, 1868-1893, a free traveling exhibit produced by the Arkansas History Commission and Black History Commission of Arkansas. The exhibit will be displayed on the first floor of Bailey Library from February 24 - March 24 during hours the library is open.

Arkansas African American Legislators, 1868-1893 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 provisions included the right to vote and 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 the 1970s.

The mission of the Black History Commission of Arkansas is to collect black historical materials for the Arkansas History Commission; 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 fund projects related to African American history in Arkansas. Founded in 1905, the Arkansas History Commission is the official state archives, dedicated to collecting and preserving the documentary history of Arkansas. To learn more about the Arkansas History Commission and the Black History Commission of Arkansas visit www.arkives.com.

For more information about the exhibit at Bailey Library, contact Library Director Britt Anne Murphy at 501-450-1288 or murphyb@hendrix.edu.

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