Arkansas African American Legislators, 1868-1893, a free traveling exhibit produced by the Arkansas History Commission and Black History Commission of Arkansas, will be displayed at Jacksonport State Park on May 3, 2014-May 30, 2014 from 8 a.m. -5p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

Arkansas African American Legislators, 1868-1893 tells the story of the eighty-five African Americans who served in the Arkansas General Assembly in the 19th century. After the Civil War, Arkansas adopted a new constitution in 1868 and its provisions included the right to vote and hold public office for black males. African American lawyers, merchants, ministers, educators, farmers, and other professionals served in the Arkansas General Assembly. Photographs of forty-six of the eighty-five legislators are an integral part of the display. Also featured is a complete listing of the legislators and a short history of post-Civil War and election law “reforms” that effectively ended African Americans election to legislative positions until the 1970s.

The mission of the Black History Commission of Arkansas is to collect black historical materials for the Arkansas History Commission; to encourage research in Arkansas black history; and to cooperate with the Arkansas Department of Education in the development of African American historical materials for use in public schools. The BHCA produces exhibits, hosts seminars, offers free educational material on African American history, and administers the Curtis H. Sykes Memorial Grant Program to fund projects related to African American history in Arkansas. Founded in 1905, the Arkansas History Commission is the official state archives, dedicated to collecting and preserving the documentary history of Arkansas. To learn more about the Arkansas History Commission and the Black History Commission of Arkansas visit www.arkives.com.

To schedule the exhibit in your institution call the Arkansas History Commission at 501.682.6900 or e-mail state.archives@arkansas.gov.

Through Amendment 75 Arkansas State Parks receives funding from a conservation sales tax of 1/8th of one percent. This funding source provides money for special projects, events, programs and maintenance repairs at all of our state parks. Thank you for your support of the Arkansas State Park system.

For further information on this special exhibit, contact Curator, Angela Gibbs, Jacksonport State Park, 205 Avenue Street, Newport, AR 72112. Phone: (870) 523-2143, E-mail: angela.gibbs@arkansas.gov