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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Courtesy / Biography.com

Garrett Morgan Sr. was born around 1875 or 1877 in Paris, Ky. He left his home at the age of 14 to move to Cincinnati, Ohio, then later to Cleveland where he worked as a mechanic and preformed sewing machine repair. Morgan’s experience with sewing machines would eventually help him establish his first business, a sewing machine sales and repair shop known as the Morgan Skirt Factory. In 1913, Morgan would open a second business, the G.A. Morgan Hair Refining Company. He also obtained a patent for the Morgan Safety Hood in 1914.

University of North Carolina

William Wells Brown was born around 1814 to a white father and enslaved mother. As a young man, he spent much of his youth in St. Louis, Mo. working in different trades. On New Years Day 1834, William escaped from his master's steamboat while docked in Cincinnati, Ohio. He relished in his newfound freedom and was eventually taken in by the Wells Browns, a white Quaker family whose last name he'd eventually adopt. In Ohio, William met his wife and fathered two daughters.

Courtesy / Ebony Magazine

John H. Johnson was born in Arkansas City, Ark. on Janurary 19, 1918. During the Great Depression, his family moved to Chicago so Johnson could pursue a higher education to achieve his dream of becoming a journalist. In high school, Johnson became the editor of the newspaper and yearbook. He then received a scholarship to the University of Chicago when he met Harry H. Pace, a man who offered Johnson a role as assitant editor at his newspaper. Eventually, Johnson dropped out of college to work at the newspaper full-time.

Courtesy / Wikimedia Commons

Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1873, Alfonso Schomburg was inspired by Latin revolutionaries and wanted to join the movement to ensure human rights for his people. He moved to New York City where he became an advocate for Puerto Rico's independence from Spain. After the disbanding of the revolutionary parties, Schomburg devoted his time to studying and recording American history in the south. Later, Schomburg would go on to found a historical society for African American research and worked to collect and create space to tell the story of black America.

On the one year anniversary of Reflections in Black, we go back in our archives to the first installment of the segment curated by Raven Cook. Born in Virginia nearly 150 years ago, Dr. Carter G. Woodson was a champion of chronicling and celebrating American history.

On today's show, we head to Eureka Springs to find out more about the $10 million redevelopment of Pine Mountain Theater and Village. Plus, we find out what it takes to become a wildlife rehabilitator and the need for more people in the profession. And, we have an interview with Fred Hersch, who will perform with the Fred Hersch Trio this Friday.


Courtesy / Robin Nelson/ZUMA Press/Newscom

Born in 1927 in Alabama, Coretta Scott was the third of four children. As a child, she worked to increase her family's income, but also studied music and evenutally won a scholarship to the New England Conservatory of Music. While studying in Massachussets, Coretta Scott met and married Martin Luther King, Jr. Along with her husband, Scott King became a leader and activist in the Civil Rights movement. Following the assasination of Maritn Luther King, Jr., Scott King played a prominent role in the Civil Rights and Women's movements and became an advocate for equality around the world.


On today's show, we find out more about the 2020 Pan-American Cyclocross Championships, which are coming to Fayetteville in November. Plus, we have a report from Harrison where the City Council is considering regulations for the use of medical marijuana within city limits. And, we have an update on the mumps outbreak on the University of Arkansas campus.

Courtesy / Stacey Abrams

Stacey Abrams was born in Madison, Wis. in 1973, but her family eventually settled in Atlanta, Ga. While she was in high school, Abrams was hired as a typist and speechwriter for a congressional campaign. She attained various higher degrees, culminating in a J.D. from Yale Law School in 1999, and worked as a tax attorney. At 29, Abrams was appointed Deputy City Attorney for Atlanta and in 2007, she was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives. In 2011, Abrams became the first African American minority leader in the Georgia House.

Courtesy / bell hooks Institute

bell hooks was born Gloria Jean Watkins in 1952 in Hopkinsville, Ky. to a poor working class family. As a child, she performed poetry readings for her church community and was heavily influenced by her great-grandmother Bell Hooks. hooks attained degrees from Stanford, the University of Wisconsin at Madison and the University of California-Santa Cruz. In her first major book, Ain't I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism, hooks explored the intersection of race, sex and class at the core of black women's lives.