A ceremony to celebrate a new Trail of Tears marker is scheduled for Saturday during the annual Black Indian and Native American Heritage Month Fair.
A Trail of Tears interpretive panel is being placed at GT Ashley McAlmont Community Park in North Little Rock. A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for Saturday during the 3rd annual Black Indian and Native American Heritage Month Fair.
Author Jason Irby and Daniel Littlefield, director of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s Sequoyah National Research Center, established the fair in 2018. Irby, a Jefferson County native, created the event because “the relationship among people of African descent and Native Americans is vast and sometimes complex,” according to his website.
“Whether the relationship was of friendship, family ties or slaveholding, this story is a story within American history,” he says. “This story is America’s history.”
Irby and Littlefield have partnered with Community Voices of McAlmont and the Black History Commission of Arkansas for the event. Ty Wilson of the Cherokees for Black Indian History Preservation Foundation will also participate.
This project is part of the mission of the Arkansas Chapter of the National Trail of Tears Association to share awareness about the forced removal of Native Americans from their homeland, particularly the Five Civilized Tribes—Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek and Seminole.
The 3rd annual Black Indian and Native American Heritage Month Fair begins at 10 a.m. Nov. 21 at GT Ashley McAlmont Community Park, which is located at 5700 Hwy. 161 in North Little Rock.