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. 

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Augustus Lushington was born in Trinidad on August 1, 1869. He went to school in Trinidad where he became a teacher and principal before traveling to Venezuela and finally setting off for New York in 1889. Lushington studied agriculture at Cornell University and graduated in 1894. He continued his education at the University of Pennsylvania and became the first African-American to earn a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in the country. Lushington went on to work in a variety of positions, including as an instructor and federal employee.

On today's show, we have the latest information from the governor's daily coronavirus response briefing. Plus, we speak with a Springdale woman who wanted to better understand the COVID-19 data coming from the Arkansas Department of Health, so she started sharing her analysis via Twitter. And, we head to Fayetteville where thousands of people came out to peacefully protest the deaths of black men involving white police officers.

Courtesy / Fisk University Library, Special Collections

Born in 1851, Ella Sheppard was enslaved on the Hermitage Plantation in Hermitage, Tenn. After learning that her daughter was being trained to spy on her, Ella's mother went to the river to drown both of them to escape the bonds of slavery. On approaching the river, Ella's mother was stopped by an elderly enslaved woman who insisted that no harm come to the child. Ella was eventually bought by her father and sent to Nashville. They then eventually moved to Cincinnati, where she began her musical training. She worked with distinguished music teachers to learn piano and singing.

On today's show, we get an update from Governor Asa Hutchinson who announced the single-highest increase in coronavirus cases in the state in a 24-hour period. Plus, we head to the Fayetteville Public Library for a tour of the ongoing expansion project. And, we find out how the Walton Arts Center and a local textile shop are connecting with people while their in-person operations remain shut down.

Courtesy / Dail St. Claire

Born in Wichita, Kan. in 1928, June Esther Bacon-Bercey gravitated toward science, and at a young age, her teachers encouraged her to pursue STEM studies. She would eventually become the first African American woman to receive a bachelor's degree in meteorology from UCLA. Bacon-Bercey would study meteorological impacts of atomic testing sites, and in 1971, she was hired by NBC affiliate WGRZ.