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Celebrate Black History Month with MTCC!

Mosaic Templars Cultural Center - Thursday, January 30, 2020

African American history is woven into the past, present and future of Arkansas. Many prominent African Americans were born in Arkansas or made significant contributions while living in the state. This February, we are celebrating their accomplishments with daily posts on our social media. You can also download their bios in the flyers below.

These most of the individuals are also included on this periodic table of Arkansas Black History, which is perfect for use in classrooms. To request a copy of the printed poster, please fill out the online form below or contact our education department.

  

  • 1. John Bush (1856-1916) – Co-Founder of the Mosaic Templars of America
  • 2. Chester Keatts (1854-1908) – Co-Founder of the Mosaic Templars of America
  • 3. Daisy L. Bates (1913-1999) – Activist; Mentor to the Little Rock Nine; Founder of the Arkansas State Press
  • 4. Derek Fisher (1974) (Little Rock, AR) Former player with the Los Angeles Lakers; Former coach of the NY Knicks; National Basketball Association
  • 5. Shirley Brown (1947) (West Memphis, AR) R&B singer best known for the million-selling single “Woman to Woman”
  • 6. Scott Joplin (1868-1917) Known as the “King of Ragtime,” Joplin composed more than 40 ragtime piano pieces, including “Maple Leaf Rag” and “The Entertainer”
  • 7. Sister Rosetta Tharpe (1915-1973) (Cotton Plant, AR) Was one of gospel music’s first superstars and the first gospel performer to record for a major record label
  • 8. William Grant Still (1895-1978) (Little Rock, AR) Nationally and internationally acclaimed composer of symphonic music
  • 9. Shaffer “Neyo” Smith (Camden, AR) (1979) Recording artist and songwriter
  • 10. Robert Lee Hill (1892-1963)(Dermott, AR) Founder of the Progressive Farmers and Household Union and political activist
  • 11. Scottie Pippen (1965) (Hamburg, AR) Former player for the Chicago Bulls; National Basketball Association
  • 12. Johnnie Taylor (1934-2000) (Crawfordsville, AR) Popular gospel and R&B singer, known as the “Philosopher of Soul,” whose recording career spanned 46 years
  • 13. Arthur Lee Porter Jr. (1961-1996)(Little Rock, AR) Musician proficient on saxophone, drums and piano; Composer whose work ranged across jazz, rhythm and blues, funk and ballads
  • 14. Arthur Lee Porter Sr. (1934-1993)(Little Rock, AR) Referred to as an “Arkansas treasure,” Porter was a pianist, composer, conductor and music teacher; Though best known as a jazz musician, he also performed classical compositions and spirituals
  • 15. Willie Ray “Smokie” Norful Jr. (1975)(Little Rock, AR) Grammy Award–winning gospel singer
  • 16. Al Bell (1940)(Brinkley, AR) Former owner, producer and songwriter for Stax Records
  • 17. Leroy “Eldridge” Cleaver (1935-1998)(Wabbaseka, AR)1960s leader of the Black Panther Party
  • 18. Darren McFadden (1987)(Little Rock, AR) Former professional football player with the Oakland Raiders and Dallas Cowboys
  • 19. Samuel L. Kountz (1930-1981)(Lexa, AR) Physician and pioneer in organ transplantation, particularly kidney transplant research and surgery
  • 20. Melba Patillo Beals (1941)(Little Rock, AR) Member of the Little Rock Nine
  • 21. Minnijean Brown-Trickey (Little Rock, AR)(1941) Member of the Little Rock Nine
  • 22. Elizabeth Eckford (Little Rock, AR)(1941) Member of the Little Rock Nine
  • 23. Ernest Green (Little Rock, AR)(1941) Member of the Little Rock Nine
  • 24. Gloria Ray Karlmark (Little Rock, AR)(1942) Member of the Little Rock Nine
  • 25. Rev. Joseph A. Booker (Old Portland, AR)(1859-1926) Editor, educator and community leader; Was a prominent leader in Arkansas racial relations and a pioneer in African-American education in Arkansas
  • 26. University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff - 1873 - Founded as Branch Normal College; Public historically black institution located in Pine Bluff, Arkansas
  • 27. Robert “Say” McIntosh (Osceola, AR)(1943) Restaurant owner, political activist and community organizer distinctly tied to the Little Rock (Pulaski County) area and Arkansas politics
  • 28. Sidney Moncrief (Little Rock, AR) (1957) Professional basketball player with the Milwaukee Bucks of the National Basketball Association
  • 29. Carlotta Walls-Lanier (Little Rock, AR)(1942) Member of the Little Rock Nine
  • 30. Thelma Mothershed-Wair (1940) Member of the Little Rock Nine
  • 31. Terrence Roberts(Little Rock, AR)(1941) Member of the Little Rock Nine
  • 32. Jefferson Thomas (Little Rock, AR)(1942-2010) Member of the Little Rock Nine
  • 33. Dr. Edith Irby Jones (Conway, AR)(1927-2019) First African American to attend and to graduate from the University of Arkansas Medical School (now UAMS); Served as a highly successful doctor, educator and philanthropist in Arkansas, Texas, and overseas
  • 34. Carol Ann Blow (1953) – First African American female to attend Mount St. Mary Academy
  • 35. Joseph Corbin (1833-1911) Journalist, served as Arkansas state superintendent of public instruction during Reconstruction and was the founder and president of the first African-American institution of higher education in Arkansas – which is now the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
  • 36. Philander Smith College– 1877 - First historically black, four-year college in Arkansas and the first historically black college to be accredited by a regional accrediting institution
  • 37. Christopher Columbus “CC” Mercer Jr. (Pine Bluff, AR)(1924-2012) Lawyer; NAACP field secretary; Advisor to Daisy L. Bates; Drove the Little Rock Nine to school during their first semester
  • 38. Charles “Sonny” Liston (St. Francis County, AR)(1932-1970) Boxer
  • 39. Bass Reaves (Crawford County, AR)(1838-1910) Was one of the first black lawmen west of the Mississippi River
  • 40. Clarence L Hunter Sr. (1926-2004) First African American detective, sergeant, lieutenant, captain and assistant chief of the Little Rock Police Department; retired in 1982
  • 41. Charles E. Bussey Jr. – (1918-1996) First African American elected to serve on the Little Rock (Pulaski County) City Board of Directors since Reconstruction, the first African-American deputy sheriff of Pulaski County, and the first African-American mayor of Little Rock
  • 42. Lottie Shackleford (Little Rock, AR)(1941) First female mayor of Little Rock
  • 43. Frank Scott Jr. (Little Rock, AR)(1983) Mayor of Little Rock since January 2019.
  • 44. Lucius Christopher “LC” Bates (1904-1980) Activist; Co-founder of the Arkansas State Press; Husband of Daisy L. Bates
  • 45. Sue Cowan Williams (1910-1994) Teacher; Fought for fair salaries for African American teachers
  • 46. Arkansas Baptist College – 1884 – Historically Black Liberal Arts institution founded by the “Colored Baptists of the State of Arkansas”
  • 47. Scipio Jones (Tulip, AR) (1863-1943) Attorney that represented 12 men sentenced to death after the Elaine Massacre
  • 48. Mike Conley Jr. (Fayetteville, AR) (1987) Played NBA basketball with the Memphis Grizzlies
  • 49. Milton Williams Jr. (Little Rock, AR) (1922-2017)Tuskegee Airman
  • 50. Milton Crenshaw (Little Rock, AR) (1919-2015) Tuskegee Airman
  • 51. Sheryl Underwood (Little Rock, AR) (1963) Comedian; Co-host of CBS’ “The Talk”
  • 52. James “Lil JJ” Lewis III (Little Rock, AR) (1990) Comedian; Star of Nickelodeon’s “Just Jordan”
  • 53. Luenell Campbell (Tollette, AR)(1959) Comedian
  • 54. John H. Johnson (Arkansas City, AR)(1918-2005) Owner and operator of Johnson Publishing Company which produced Jet and Ebony Magazines
  • 55. Deborah Myers Mathis – (1953) Worked in Washington, DC at WTTG-TV and then returned to Little Rock to work at KARK-TV.She also worked as a journalist for the Arkansas Gazette and later the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and is a published author.
  • 56. Shorter College – 1886 – Historically Black two-year institution founded by the African Methodist Episcopal Church; located in North Little Rock.

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