A marker to note the 1927 lynching of John Carter was ceremonially unveiled Sunday. Details on the event here.


The lynching was believed to have been the last in Pulaski County, though it was by no means the last example of injustice toward Black people.

Which prompts a thought:


The lynching marker is now permanent under state law. It cannot be moved without good reason, say installation of a water line, and approval of the state History Commission.

The law was passed with the intent of preserving monuments to the Lost Cause to preserve slavery.


To my knowledge, there’s but one monument, in National Cemetery, to the soldiers who fought and died in Arkansas to preserve the Union. CORRECTION: At least three others exist, as this article notes.

There is a national park site for the important Union victory at Pea Ridge. And the National Park Service also memorializes the victory of the rule of law (and airborne troops) over segregationists at Central High School.

But, as this timeline notes, the Union won most of the Civil War battles in Arkansas. Perhaps monuments should be installed at more of them. Something suitable is in order, for example, in Ouachita County where Confederate troops killed surrendered Black union soldiers at Poison Springs. Perhaps Sen. Trent Garner, who hails from Camden, could be a keynote speaker and learn a little more about racism past.

Little Rock, which has rid a city park of a tribute to Confederate soldiers to the great unhappiness of Lost Cause dead-enders, could fill the history gap with a monument at Bayou Fourche to the winners. It was there that Union troops routed rebels defending the city. Little Rock fell later that evening in 1863.


And what about the segregationist politicians who made discrimination part of Arkansas law and Constitution, at least one of whom wouldn’t deign to shake the hands of Black voters? Perhaps some informative permanent markers could be placed at their former homes.

And what about something on the Capitol steps to mark where a Black senator from Illinois delivered a speech in support of Mike Beebe, a candidate for governor, in 2006. The young senator went on to bigger things, but he was pivotal in Arkansas, his Black face the poster child for the march to Republican political control of the state. Another racial history lesson.

Arkansas is full of history — from Elaine to Pea Ridge — that should not be erased.

PS: Another nominee:

And another: For a marker near the site of two lynchings in Hot Springs where the Daughters of the Confederacy has a rebel memorial.

And here’s one that is actually happening:

The Arkansas Medical, Dental and Pharmaceutical Association (AMDPA) and the Dunbar Historic Neighborhood Association (DHNA) are partnering on Thursday, June 17 to sponsor a “marker ceremony” and fundraising event at the former residence of Dr. John Thornton, one of the state’s first Black doctors and medical pioneers.

Thornton was co-founder of AMDPA, one of the state’s longest-serving nonprofits incorporated in 1893 as a professional association for practicing African American doctors, dentists and pharmacists excluded from membership in most white-led trade groups. The marker ceremony will recognize his legacy and former home in the Dunbar district at 1420 W. 15th St., now on the National Register and owned by
Little Rock native Dorothy Brown.

The fund-raising is for scholarships for pre-med students at nearby Philander Smith College and community projects in the Dunbar neighborhood.