Many of this year’s Black History Month events are virtual, creating a unique opportunity for Arkansans to have increased access to a variety of programming. Every Monday in February we’ll publish a weekly list spotlighting several of these events. If you’d like your event included, please email the details to [email protected].
Race, Rage, and Resistance is a 4-part series of programs presented by CALS Encyclopedia of Arkansas in honor of Black History Month. This virtual event will feature Stephanie Harp, a writer and historian, based in Maine, with family ties to Arkansas. Some of her research is focused on lynching, specifically John Carter’s murder in 1927. Kwami Abdul-Bey is a native of Little Rock and a co-founder of the Arkansas Peace & Justice Memorial Movement.
This year’s virtual event will feature Sarah Roberts, author of You and Your Hair: The Ultimate Healthy Hair Masterclass for Afro Textured Hair. There will be a style showcase featuring local stylists and barbers.
7 p.m. — Fireside Chat with Spencer Paysinger
This virtual presentation will feature NFL linebacker and Super Bowl champion Spencer Paysinger, whose life serves as the basis for the TV show All American. The conversation will be led by Corrigan Revels, assistant director for student leadership and development at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. There will be a Q&A session at the end of the event. Registration is required.
12 p.m. — ASU Lunch and Learn: LaTasha Moore
Please join us as we celebrate Black History Month with a virtual luncheon featuring LaTasha Moore, owner of Tasha Teaches Spanish. LaTasha is a 2014 A-State graduate with degrees in Communication Studies & World Languages. She also holds a masters in Public Health from UAMS. An accomplished spoken word poet and recipient of several minority entrepreneurship awards, she will speak about her experience and how “Entrepreneurship is in our DNA.” Registration is required for this free, virtual event.
2 p.m. — Sponsorship vs. Mentorship
Mentorship and sponsorship are often used interchangeably, but there is a stark difference between mentorship and sponsorship. Come learn the difference and how to maximize them both for personal and professional growth in a workshop facilitated by Yvette Murphy-Erby, UA vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion.
Join the UALR Student Government Association as they welcome Little Rock’s 73rd mayor and first Black elected chief executive, Mayor Frank Scott Jr.; public school teacher and former Democratic candidate for U.S. Congress, Senator Joyce Elliott; and retired CEO, mental health policy leader and advocate, and former Democratic candidate for state representative, Jannie Cotton, to discuss how they paved the way for African Americans in Arkansas. Registration is required for this virtual event.
Bree Newsome, an American filmmaker, musician and speaker, will offer the Arkansas Tech University Black History Month 2021 keynote address during a virtual event. Newsome’s remarks are titled Tearing Hatred From the Sky. A native of Durham, N.C., Newsome drew national attention in June 2015 when she climbed a flag pole on the state house grounds in South Carolina and removed a Confederate flag. Her subsequent arrest and the resulting publicity led to the permanent removal of the symbol later that summer.
Little Rock’s West 9th Street emerged as a predominately African American neighborhood during the Civil War, and grew to become the city’s Black business district. The area boomed during the 1940s and 1950s, but by the 1960s, most of the district’s Black businesses were forced to close due to the Urban Renewal project. This virtual program will include a short history on the evolution of Little Rock’s neighborhoods, a collection of videos from the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, and the Arkansas PBS documentary Dream Land: Little Rock’s West 9th Street.
Rickey Lee Booker, Jr. with the IDEALS Institute at the University of Arkansas will present a discussion titled Do Black Lives Matter? The goal for these weekly conversations is to provide a platform to share experiences, ensure awareness and education, allow voices to be heard and instill a sense of belonging. The public can attend via Zoom and no registration is required.
ASU will host this virtual discussion with Rep. Jamie Scott who will discuss activism in the future. This free virtual event is open to the public.
In 1956, KOKY became Arkansas’s first radio station devoted to all-Black programming with all Black staff. We honor the legacy of KOKY with photos, videos and a panel discussion featuring KOKY on-air personalities, including Sonta Jean “The KOKY Queen,” Mark “Chillin” Dylan and Billy St. James with moderator Broadway Joe Booker. The free, virtual event is open to the public.
Join director Christina Shutt at 7 p.m. every Thursday on MTCC’s Facebook Live or YouTube channel for a virtual story time that features authors and main characters of color. During the reading, Shutt will reveal a secret code for one free, kid’s scoop of ice cream per family at Loblolly Creamery, located at 1423 Main St. in Little Rock. MTCC collaborated with Loblolly to create the “Maple Leaf Ragtime” flavor in honor of composer Scott Joplin. A portion of proceeds from each purchase of this flavor will benefit MTCC.
Ed Drew’s photographic exhibition, We Hold These Truths: American Veterans of Arkansas, is on display at Mosaic Templars Cultural Center through February. The livestream “art talk” discussion with Drew will be moderated by Janet Perkins, community development program manager for the Arkansas Arts Council.
6 p.m. — #BuyBlackFridays
KLEK 102.5 FM in Jonesboro will host interviews with businesses that will provide information to enlighten students, as well as the community about where to #BuyBlack. This event will be held every Friday of Black History Month on the ASU Multicultural Center’s Instagram Live. #BuyBlack will have a photo contest on the last week of Black History Month.
6 p.m. — Trap N Paint
This will be a time for you to listen to some fly tunes and be inspired to paint what you are feeling. All supplies for the Trap & Paint will be provided by the UA Multicultural Center. This event will be presented via Zoom.
6 p.m. — Black Heritage Festival
This is a celebration of the Black cultural legacy through the medium of art, dance, music, spoken word or any other form of expression that displays triumph, resilience, and unity of Africa and the African Diaspora. This virtual program will showcase acts that exemplify the theme: Uniting the African Diaspora & Celebrating Diversity.
7 p.m. — Figuratively Speaking
This livestream event will showcase spoken-word poetry performances by Arkansas poets. Poet Marquese McFerguson, who is Mosaic Templars Cultural Center’s artist for Black History Month, will headline the show. Poet Drekkia Morning, who is the arts in education program manager for the Arkansas Arts Council, will host the event. There will be a house band and spoken-word performances by poets from across the state. The free virtual event will be streamed via Facebook Live.
Celebrate Black History Month and American Heart Month by joining KLEK 102.3FM to clean up the highway mile adopted by the Jonesboro-based radio station. Volunteers will meet at New Life Empowerment Ministries Church, which is located at 2109 N. Church St. Masks are required and refreshments will be served.
Black-Owned NWA will showcase local entrepreneurs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Shiloh Square in downtown Springdale. The event is free and open to the public, but timed tickets are required. Masking and other COVID-19 health guidelines will be enforced.
2 p.m. — Lift Every Voice
The Central Arkansas Library System is presenting a series of virtual poetry workshops to encourage teens and young adults to create and perform poetry. This week’s session will feature Stacey McAdoo, the 2019 Arkansas Teacher of the Year who believes in using passion and poetry to close the opportunity gap, and Leron McAdoo, a 26-year educator and member of the Arts & Culture Commission. Founders of the Writeous Poets and Art Action, both Leron and Stacey are active and visible in the community. Participation is free, but registration is required.
6 p.m. — Beat This! — A Hip Hop History
This virtual event will feature a screening of a documentary about hip hop culture.
7 p.m. — Leading with Excellence Awards
Black Action Collective will host this event, which will recognize Black leaders and allies in the Northwest Arkansas community affecting positive change for Black lives.
Join Music Moves for a rebroadcast in honor of Black History Month. This event, which is designed to share the Gospel experience, features Northwest Arkansas vocal powerhouses Ella Donnell Lambey and Ocie Fisher, accompanied by pianist Reginald James.