Early Twentieth Century

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Entry Category: Early Twentieth Century - Starting with N

Negro Motorist Green Book, Arkansas Listings in the

Published between 1936 and 1966, The Negro Motorist Green Book (commonly called the Green Book) provided African American travelers information on hotels, restaurants, and other amenities that would serve Black Americans during a time when many establishments would not. While it was initially focused on the New York City area, the popularity of the title led to the inclusion of other places across the country. It was published by Victor Hugo Green until his death in 1960 and then for a few more years. The passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the expansion of interstate highways led to the demise of the publication. Numerous businesses in Arkansas appeared in various editions of the book. The earliest edition to …

Nelson, Bud (Lynching of)

Sometime between October 27 and November 1, 1926, Bud Nelson was shot near Tarry (Lincoln County) for the alleged murder of twenty-four-year-old planter Ed Henderson in neighboring Jefferson County. According to accounts published in the Arkansas Gazette and the Cleveland County Herald, Ed Henderson was riding his horse past the house of Ed Young, who was a black tenant on the land of Ed’s father, John H. Henderson. According to the Cleveland County Herald, Ed Henderson was looking for some mules that had strayed. He asked Nelson, who was sitting on a cotton bale across the road from Ed Young’s house, about the mules. The Herald stated that Ed Henderson was a very popular young man “and was always known …

Newton, Lee (Lynching of)

On July 26, 1902, an African American man named Lee Newton was lynched in the Corney Creek bottoms near Spottsville (Columbia County) for having left his residence in defiance of a punishment meted out earlier for an alleged attempted assault. According to a report published in the Arkansas Democrat, two weeks prior to his murder, Newton had “attempted to assault a young lady in the community where he lived.” As a result of this, he was not immediately lynched (as were many Black men accused of rape) but, instead, “was whipped severely at the time but was permitted to stay at home and told to go to work.” However, Newton “got uneasy” and, instead, departed for Louisiana the next day. …

Night Riders

aka: Nightriders
aka: Whitecappers
aka: White Cappers
The term “night riding” is frequently synonymous with “whitecapping” or “bald knobbing,” all terms denoting extralegal acts of violence targeting select groups and carried out by vigilantes under cover of night or disguise. Beginning in the 1900s, cotton farmers throughout Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Missouri were often the targets of night riders seeking to intimidate farmers into selling their crops at higher prices than offered by the big agricultural companies. However, many instances of night riding had racial overtones that hearkened back to the days of the post-Reconstruction Ku Klux Klan (KKK). Cotton men of the state had formed the Arkansas Farmers Union in the early 1900s in order to stabilize the price of cotton, but when cotton prices fell …

Norman, Will (Lynching of)

On June 19, 1913, twenty-one-year-old Will Norman was lynched in Hot Springs (Garland County) for the alleged assault and murder of Garland Huff, the daughter of Judge C. Floyd Huff. In 1910, C. Floyd Huff was living in Hot Springs with his wife, Octavia, and four children: William (thirteen years old), Garland (eleven), C. Floyd Jr. (ten), and Robert E. C. (six). According to some reports, Will Norman had been employed by the Huffs for about two years prior to 1913. Little other information is available regarding him. According to newspaper reports, on June 19, Norman dragged Garland Huff into a closet. When she resisted his advances, he beat her, crushing her skull in five places. He then locked her …

NYA Camp Bethune

aka: Camp Bethune
National Youth Administration (NYA) Camp Bethune was part of a New Deal program that provided opportunities for literacy and critical advantages for young Black women from across the state of Arkansas during the Great Depression. Arkansas Agricultural, Mechanical, and Normal (AM&N) College in Pine Bluff (Jefferson County), now the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB), incorporated the camp site. The camp marked the network of regional and national political activism among African Americans who negotiated community and citizenship in the first half of the twentieth century. The Federal Emergency Relief Appropriation (FERA) Act created the NYA in 1935. The agency funded part-time work for students between the ages of sixteen to twenty-five, as well as worked to promote public …