New Historic Marker Honors Pulaski County Lynching Victim John Carter

The maker is part of an effort to acknowledge racial terror lynchings in Arkansas.

Crowd watching unveiling of lynching marker in Little Rock
A crowd gathered June 13, 2021 at Haven of Rest Cemetery in Little Rocking for a historical marker unveiling.

The Arkansas Peace and Justice Memorial Movement Pulaski County Community Remembrance Project unveiled a historic marker Sunday afternoon in commemoration of the life of John Carter. On May 4, 1927 an angry white mob lynched Carter, a Black man, near the present day intersection of 12th Street, Kanis Road and Rodney Parham Road in Little Rock. 

Sunday’s unveiling took place near that same intersection at Haven of Rest Cemetery. The ceremony is the second such event in Arkansas this year. The Washington County Remembrance Project hosted a dedication ceremony May 15 at Oaks Cemetery in Fayetteville to unveil a marker honoring three victims of racial terror lynching.

John Carter is believed to be the last known documentation of racial terror lynching in Pulaski County. Yesterday’s ceremony was followed by a high school racial justice essay contest at the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site. Event coordinator Clarice Abdul-Bey said the original ceremony was scheduled for May 2020, but was rescheduled because of the pandemic.

“This was, I’d say since 2018, a labor of love and challenge, but no good thing comes without challenge,” she said.

The Pulaski County CRP is a project of the Arkansas Peace & Justice Memorial Movement where they have gathered together nearly two dozen organizations throughout central Arkansas to work together with the Equal Justice Initiative to place historical markers at the site of all the known incidents of racialized terror lynchings in the county. 

The membership in the CRP includes Just Communities of Arkansas, the Washitaw Foothills Youth Media Arts & Literacy Collective, Pulaski County government, Little Rock government, U.S. Senator John Boozman’s office, U.S. Representative French Hill’s office, State Senator Joyce Elliott’s office, State Representative Denise Ennett’s office, the UA Little Rock Department of History, Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, the Central Arkansas Library System, the Arkansas State Conference of the NAACP, the Urban League of the State of Arkansas, the Black History Commission of Arkansas, the Friends of Haven of Rest Cemetery and the LRCHS National Historic Site.