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Black History in the United States: Black History & Arkansas

Black History & Arkansas

Alphonso Trent Mural, Fort Smith, Ark. Part of the 2016 Unexpected Project

Collections at the Pebley Center

Dr. Harry P. McDonald collection

McDonald wasn’t the first black doctor in Fort Smith, but he was the only black doctor for many decades. This collection covers his career and his role in the Civil Rights Movement in the area.

 

Dr. Angie Evans-Benham Collection

Benham was a junior at Van Buren in 1958 when the school began to integrate. Benham spoke out against angry parents in support of the black students. This collection has original letters from all over the world addressed to Benham.   

 

Bass Reeves Collection

Reeves became the first black deputy west of the Mississippi, who was born into slavery in Arkansas. The collection consists of articles, copies of certificates, photographs, and records.

 

Alphonso Trent Collection

Trent was a jazz pianist and band leader from Fort Smith. The collection consists of articles, copies of certificates, photographs, and records.

 

Mame Stewart Josenberger

Josenberger was a Fort Smith resident, landowner, teacher, and activist, who was part of the women’s club movement. The collection consists of articles, copies of certificates, photographs, and records.

 

For more information about collections contact the Pebley Center https://library.uafs.edu/library/pebley-center

Local Resources

Books in the Pebley Center

Local History

Dr. Harry P. McDonald, The Fort Smith Historical Society Journal Vol. 41, No. 2, September 2017 (available in the Pebley Center) 

Bass Reeves

U.S. Marshall Bass Reeves