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

Since a 1930s prohibition on hemp farming was lifted last year by the federal government, more than a 100 hemp cultivation licenses have been issued in Arkansas. We visit a hemp farm in Washington County. Plus, more on the Buffalo National River Park's new designation as an International Dark Sky Park. And, Robert Ginsburg of KUAF's Shades of Jazz interviews Jonathan Kreisberg, whose only scheduled performance in mid-America takes place this weekend in Fayetteville.

Courtesy / Library of Congress

John Mercer Langston was born in 1829 to an emancipated mother and slave-owner father. He became the fifth African-American graduate from Oberlin College. He later became the first black elected official in Ohio, helped runaway slaves escape north via the Underground Railroad, and was appointed U.S. Minister to Haiti by president Rutherford B. Hays. This is his story.

The City of Fort Smith is looking for a partner organization to take on animal sheltering and adoption services after city directors decided not to renew a contract with the HOPE Humane Society. Plus, three brothers from Lincoln are named the Washington County Farm Family of the Year. And, more about an intertribal indigenous women's group that will be staging an interactive program at the Museum of Native American History in Bentonville.

Courtesy / Enoch Pratt Library

Born Chloe Anthony Wofford in Lorain, Ohio in 1931, Toni Morrison was educated at Howard and Cornell Universities. Morrison had a career as an educator at Howard, Yale and Princeton Universities, but her writing career is legendary. Her novel Sula was nominated for the National Book Award and Beloved would become a film starring Oprah Winfrey. Morrison also won the Pulitzer and Nobel Prizes in literature. This is her story.

Fort Smith residents and city leaders begin recovery efforts as the Arkansas River crests at 41 feet beating all previous records. Plus, two University of Arkansas professors find that placing imperceptible barcodes on products may prevent injuries among cashiers and lead to more retail efficiency. And the inaugural Pacific Islander Youth Summit is held at Har-Ber High School in Springdale.