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

Courtesy / Van Vechten Trust

Arna Bontemps was born in 1902 in Alexandria, La., but his family relocated to Watts, Ca. as part of the Great Migration. In 1924, he got a teaching job at the Harlem Academy in New York. He arrived during the Harlem Renaissance and went on to write award-winning poetry and fiction. He later wrote children's books, attained his Master's degree in Library Science, and served as the head librarian at Fisk University for 21 years. This is his story.

On today's show, we hear from people who knew Walter Turnbow, one of Springdale's best-known civic leaders. He died this week at the age of 95. Plus, the Arkansas Department of Health is confirming two cases of vaping-related illness in the state. And, we hear from experts on dosing and impairment risks as dispensaries roll out medical cannabis to patients.

Courtesy / University of Missouri Archives

Lloyd Lionel Gaines was born in Mississippi in 1911, but his family later moved to St. Louis, Mo.. He graduated with a degree in history from Lincoln University in 1935 and considered law school, but school segregation limited his options. He sought legal counsel from the NAACP to apply to the University of Missouri Law School. The resulting Supreme Court case, Gaines v. Canada, found that the school denied Gaines' 14th Amendment Rights when they refused him admittance to the school. This is his story.

On today's show, the Rogers School District is starting the new year with a new emergency radio system. Plus, the Blue Man Group is getting its next nationally-touring show ready at a local theater. And, a Fayetteville gallery readies for an exhibition featuring works done by artists with disabilities and other challenges.

Courtesy / University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Ernest James Gaines was born in 1933 in Louisiana, but as a teenager moved with his family to California during the Great Migration. He found his voice as a fiction writer who dives into the Black experience. Gaines' subjects are men and women from rural communities navigating day-to-day life with the backdrop of racial injustice. His most popular novel is The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, a fictional personal history from the Civil War to the Civil Rights movement. This is his story.