"Arkansas Ozarks African Americans: 1820 to 1950"

Jan 30, 2016

“Arkansas Ozarks African Americans: A Special KUAF History Documentary.”

The original two-disc set for "Arkansas Ozarks African Americans 1820 - 1950"
Credit J. Froelich-KUAF

KUAF Public Radio is proud to present "Arkansas Ozarks African Americans: 1820 to 1950," a two-hour public radio documentary chronicling the historic black communities of Washington, Carroll, Benton, and Boone counties over a span of 130 years. Written and produced by investigative journalist, Jacqueline Froelich--and first broadcast in 2000--this comprehensive black history profiles the significant presence of and contributions by African Americans to Arkansas Ozarks culture.

Narrated by Julia Rose Sampson and hosted by Pete Hartman, the documentary features interviews with contemporary Ozarks African Americans, black history scholars, local historians and white residents and is illuminated by reenactments gleaned from archived diaries, news paper articles, and published historical records. 

The two-hour audio program is arranged by Ozarks African American settlement place names (conferred by provincial whites) including "Happy Hollow" in western Washington County, "The Clique" in Bentonville, the "Tin Cup" in Fayetteville, and "Nigger Town" in Eureka Springs.

"Arkansas Ozarks African Americans" also unearths, for the first time, events leading up to the ethnic cleansing of Harrison, Arkansas beginning in 1905--a history that remained buried for almost a century--chronicles a mass lynching in nearby Springfield, Missouri, and sheds new light on a race war which destroyed the prosperous black district of Tulsa, Oklahoma, killing hundreds.

This investigative history was funded by the Arkansas Humanities Council and is a winner of an American Association for State and Local History Award, which recognizes achievement in the preservation and interpretation of local, state, and regional history.

Original and traditional music for this documentary was written and performed by Chris Bradley with Chadwick Martin at Flying Squirrel Studio in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

“Arkansas Ozarks African Americans: 1820 to 1950,” is copyright © 2000 by Jacqueline Froelich and may not be reproduced or rebroadcast in whole or part without permission.