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

On today's show, we head to Northside High School in Fort Smith where a teacher created a Needs Closet for students who can't afford hygiene products. Plus, we Escape to Margaritaville and hear from two cast members of the new play at the Walton Arts Center. And, we find out more about the next edition of Arkansas Stories, which will focus on captivity and resistance. 

Courtesy / John Mathew Smith

Sonia Sanchez was born in Birmingham, Ala. in 1934. She got her bachelor's degree from Hunter College in 1955 and pursued a graduate degree under the mentorship of poet Louise Bogan. In the 1960s, she worked with the Congress of Racial Equality before hearing Malcolm X and taking a separatist posture instead. She began a career as a professor at Downtown Community School in New York, later moving to San Francisco State College. As a professor, she pioneered in the fields of Black Studies and Women's Studies.

On today's show, we go to Benton County where state and local officials celebrated the start of construction on the final portions of the Bella Vista Bypass. Plus, we find out why a group of volunteers and researchers wants to know how many stray cats there in a Fort Smith. And, as we head into fall and winter, we hear about strategies for fighting seasonal affective disorder.

Courtesy / Bentley Historical Library

Harold Cruse was born in Petersburg, Va. in 1916 and would become one of the most important Black historians of the 20th century. He served in the Army during World War II, and attended City College of New York for a short time. In 1967, he published The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual, a collection of essays that criticized Black and Jewish intellectuals of the time. The attention from the published work gained Cruse a teaching job and later a full professorship at the University of Michigan despite never earning a degree himself.

On today's show, we find out more about an opioid summit hosted by the Sebastian County Opioid Task Force. Plus, we hear about how climate change is already altering the composition of Ozark forests. And, we go back to 1978 when the former First National Bank commissioned a record dedicated to the city of Fayetteville.