Women’s History Month: Annie Zachary Pike

Annie Zachary Pike
Photo courtesy of the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, Central Arkansas Library System.

Born: May 12, 1931 in Big Creek, Arkansas

Bio: Annie Zachary Pike is a farmer and community activist from Phillips County who became the first African American appointee to a state board and was later appointed to a variety of federal organizations by President Richard M. Nixon.

As a community activist in Phillips County, Pike was a member of the Arkansas Negro State Home Demonstration Council, a network of rural Black women’s clubs organized in 1936; in 1963, she was elected its vice president. In 1965, Zachary was named “home demonstration woman of the year” during a convention held at the segregated National Baptist Hotel and Bathhouse in Hot Springs.

When Winthrop Rockefeller ran for governor in 1966, Pike became the Phillips County Republican Party coordinator. She traveled door to door to convince African Americans to vote for Rockefeller. She highlighted his plan to integrate Black people into Arkansas politics in a way unachieved since the first Reconstruction and emphasized his commitment to reforming the state’s cruel penitentiary system.

In 1985, the Arkansas Education Association recognized her many years of volunteer service. Additional public service included a stint on the Arkansas Tobacco Control Board from 1999 to 2001. In 2002, in recognition of her dedication to the community, Phillips County Road 125, which runs through Zachary farmland, was renamed Annie Zachary Pike Road.

You can learn more about the life of Annie Zachary Pike at the Encyclopedia of Arkansas.