The Black History Commission of Arkansas has awarded five Cutis H. Sykes grants to various projects across the state.
- We Are Milele in Spite of Toubob – This project will collect oral stories, ancestral photographs and documents pertaining to the Foote family of the Pine Bluff and Packingtown areas from the reconstruction era (1865) through World War II. These items will be used to create a nonfiction history book, We Are Milele in Spite of Toubob, Volume II.
- Immanuel School Historical Marker Project – This project from the Grand Prairie Historical Society focuses on placing a historic marker at the former Immanuel High School in Almyra. This school was the seat of African American education in northeast Arkansas County, and the marker will describe the significance the school had in the community during the era of segregation.
- Nelson Hackett Historical Marker – This project will fund a historical marker featuring the life story of Nelson Hackett, who according to the Fayetteville Black Heritage Preservation Commission, “…was an enslaved man whose escape to Canada and subsequent extradition set off an international dispute that ensured Canada remained a safe refuge for those escaping bondage from the United States.”
- Love Rest Green Grove Cemetery Project – This project will fund a historical marker to share the significance of the Green Grove Cemetery, burial place of Stuttgart’s African American citizens since the turn of the 20th century.
- Mapping the Pleasant Street Historic District – This project will create a colorful folding map identifying all the 93 existing historic properties, including those that have since been demolished, within the Pleasant Street Historic District, the most contiguous area of the historic African American community of Hot Springs.
The next meeting of the Black History Commission of Arkansas will be Thursday, Feb. 16 at the Arkansas State Archives’ office, One Capitol Mall in downtown Little Rock. The meeting will also be available via Zoom. For more information, contact Tatyana Oyinloye, African American history coordinator for the Arkansas State Archives, at [email protected] or 501-681-6892.