Arkansas Black Hall of Fame

The Arkansas Black Hall of Fame was founded in 1992 by Charles O. Stewart and Patricia Y. Goodwin as a means of recognizing the best and brightest African Americans with Arkansas roots. The first induction ceremony was held on October 30, 1993, in the exhibition hall of Robinson Auditorium. Each year, six inductees from diverse fields of endeavor are recognized for their contribution to African-American culture and to the nation. In 1998, seven inductees were selected.

Nominations are received from across the country offering recommendation for induction into the hall. The board of the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame, after a comprehensive review of the submitted nominations, makes the final selection of inductees. Past honorees have included writers, singers, actors, visual artists, musicians, athletes, politicians, religious leaders, doctors, lawyers, educators, scientists, and civic and social leaders who have attained national or international acclaim. Selections are revealed to the public during the first week of September prior to the induction ceremony, usually held the third Saturday of October. In 2017, the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame inducted no new individuals but, instead, honored all previous inductees at a twenty-fifth anniversary gala. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame did not hold induction ceremonies in 2020 and 2021.

The Arkansas Black Hall of Fame portrait gallery is located in the rotunda of the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock (Pulaski County). On September 20, 2008, a more extensive permanent exhibit opened in two galleries of the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, a museum of the Department of Arkansas Heritage. The Black Hall of Fame Exhibit has a “living component,” and each year a Hall of Fame laureate will return to perform a concert and or give a lecture as a part of the museum’s public programs.

The Arkansas Black Hall of Fame induction ceremony helps to fund the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides grants to organizations working to improve education, youth development, health/wellness, and economic development in black and other under-served communities throughout Arkansas. These grants have affected more than forty-five of Arkansas’s seventy-five counties since 2003. The grants program is a fund of the Arkansas Community Foundation.

1993  Maya Angelou

Daisy Gatson Bates

Ernest Green

G. W. Stanley Ish Sr.

John H. Johnson

Lottie Shackelford

1994  Evangeline K. Brown

George Howard

Ernest P. Joshua Sr.

James McKissic

Art Porter Sr.

Debbye Turner

1995  Hubert “Geese” Ausbie

Woodrow W. Crockett

Joycelyn Elders

Ethel and James Kearney

Robert McFerrin Sr.

William Grant Still

1996  Lawrence A. Davis

Grover Evans

Scipio A. Jones

Herwald H. Morton

Andree Layton Roaf

O. C. Smith

1997  Barbara Higgins Bond

Gretha Boston

Lloyd C. Elam

Keith Jackson

Samuel Lee Kountz

Rodney Slater

1998  Daisy Anderson

Wiley Branton Sr.

Mike Conley

Danny Davis

Anita Pointer

Phyllis Yvonne Stickney

1999  Ernest James Harris

Gertrude Hadley Jeannette

Eliza Miller

Vice Admiral Edward Moore Jr.

Johnnie Taylor

John W. Walker

2000  Floyd Brown

Lela Rochon Fuqua

E. Lynn Harris

Theressa Hoover

Dr. Wilbert C. Jordan

Roy Roberts

2001  Granville Coggs

Henri Linton

Mahlon Martin

Sidney Moncrief

Amina Claudine Myers

Ozell Sutton

2002  Al Bell

Faye Clarke

William Jefferson Clinton   (Honorary)

Edith Irby Jones

Haki Madhubuti

Charles H. Mason

2003  James H. Cone

Gladys Mc Fadden
& the Loving Sisters

Lawrence Hamilton

Deborah Mathis

J. Donald Rice

Honorable Lavenski R. Smith

2004  W. Harold Flowers

Hazel Hynson

Patricia McGraw

Fatima Robinson

Pharoah Sanders

John Stroger Jr.

2005  Fran Bennett

Lou Brock

Martha Dixon

David Evans

Dr. Sybil Jordan Hampton

Louis Jordan

2006  Oliver Baker

Charles Bussey

Judge Glenn Johnson

Emma Rhodes

Henry Shead

Lencola Sullivan-Verseveldt

2007  Milton Crenchaw

Judge L. Clifford Davis

Willie Davis

Little Rock Nine

John Stubblefield

Sheryl Underwood

2008  Torii Hunter

Rose McCoy

Joseph Daniel McQuany

Michelle Revere

A. D. Washington

Sterling Williams

2009  Charles E. Blake Sr.

Erma Glasco Davis

Delores Handy

James E. K. Hildreth

W. R. “Smokie” Norful

Samuel W. Williams

2010  Annie M. Abrams

ReShonda Tate Billingsley

Timothy C. Evans

William J. Johnson

Shaffer Chimere “Ne-Yo” Smith

Reece “Goose” Tatum

2011  Abraham Carpenter Sr. and Family

Leo Louis “Jocko” Carter

Derek Fisher

Kathryn Hall-Trujillo

Joseph (Joe) Jackson

Robert L. Williams

2012  Jerry T. Hodges

Charles E. Phillips Jr.

Pearlie S. Reed

Yolonda R. Summons

Sister Rosetta Tharpe

Lenny Williams

2013  Gerald Alley

Richard E. Anderson

Morris Hayes

Raye Jean Montague

Art Porter Jr.

Willie Roaf

2014  Vertie Carter

Colette Honorable

Ricky Jasper

Olly Neal Jr.

Bass Reeves

Bobby Rush

2015  Luenell Batson

Mildred Barnes Griggs

Cortez Kennedy

Donnie L. Lindsey

Eddie Reed

C. Michael Tidwell

2016  June Carter-Perry

Gregory A. Davis

Mifflin Wistar Gibbs

Hall Family

Richard L. Mays

Cynthia Scott

2018  Kevin Cole

Brent Jennings

LTG Aundre Piggee

Florence B. Price

Darrell Walker

Mary-Louise Williams

2019  Irma Hunter Brown

Wallace “Wali” Reed Caradine

John Donley

Edward “Coach Ed” Johnson

Kristin Lewis

Roscoe Robinson

2022 Sherman Banks

Dr. Joe L. Hargrove

Hattie Hill

Gertrude Newsome Jackson

Ketty Lester

James Thrower

2023 Rev. Jerry Black

Dr. Ronda Henry-Tillman

Judge Joyce Williams Warren

Curtis Howse

Harvey P. Wiley Sr.

James H. Leary

For additional information:
Arkansas Black Hall of Fame. (accessed September 6, 2023).

“Arkansas Black Hall of Fame to Induct 6.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. September 9, 2009, p. 2B.

Williams, Helaine R. “Black Hall of Fame Still Making Strides This Year.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, September 13, 2020, pp. 1D, 8D.

———. “Social Eyes—Their Place in History: Governor, Guests Applaud Arkansas Black Hall of Fame Inductees.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. October 25, 2009, p. 2D.

Charles Stewart
Arkansas Black Hall of Fame


    Thanks for reminding us.

    Billie Rose Wofford Fayetteville, AR