Raven Cook

Contributing Reporter

Reflections in Black is a weekly segment on Ozarks at Large, hosted by Raven Cook. Reflections in Black is dedicated to exploring the legacy of Black Americans, both in the United States and around the globe, by providing resources for understanding and hope for all people.

You can learn more about Raven and the segments you hear on the Foundations: Black History Education Programming facebook page. 

Ways to Connect

The McMillion Innovation Studio at the University of Arkansas is opening up its Innovate 2 Lead training to business owners and civic leaders to come up with creative solutions to community issues. Plus, a local used bookstore is celebrating 20 years in business. And, we celebrate moths during National Moth Week.

Courtesy / Charles Abramson

Charles Henry Turner was born in Ohio in 1867. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees, as well as a Ph.D. and went on to become a high school teacher, principal and college professor. Turner also published several scientific research papers on neurology, invertebrates, ecology and the environment. This is his story.

Thomas Dorsey was born in Georgia in 1899. At 12, he already displayed great skill on the piano and moved to Chicago as part of the Great Migration. He studied music composition at the Chicago College of Music and Arranging. Dorsey then began a career as a composer and arranger, first as a blues musician then later making a mark on American gospel music. His songs were performed by well-known singers like Mahalia Jackson, Elvis Presley and Rosetta Tharpe. This is his story.

We get a tour of the Cass Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center after the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Labor go back on their decision to deactivate it and eight others around the country. Plus, we get a history lesson from the daughter of the man who started the Rodeo of the Ozarks in Springdale. And, our summer reading suggestions wrap up with a book about how J.R.R. Tolkien made Middle-earth.

Courtesy / New Georgia Encyclopedia

Susie Baker King Taylor was born in antebellum Georgia to enslaved parents. In her youth, she was allowed to live with her grandmother and attended secret schools. During the Civil War, Susie escaped and lived behind Union Army lines on St. Simons Island, where she began her teaching career. She married a Union soldier, and after the war, they created a school for free children in Georgia. This is her story.