Modern Era

  • No categories

Entries - Entry Category: Modern Era - Starting with C

Cleaver, Leroy Eldridge

Leroy Eldridge Cleaver was one of the best-known and most recognizable symbols of African American rebellion in the 1960s as a leader of the Black Panther Party and the Black power movement. In the 1970s, he became a born-again Christian and later an active member of the Republican Party. Eldridge Cleaver was born on August 31, 1935, in Wabbaseka (Jefferson County). His father, Leroy Cleaver, was a nightclub entertainer and waiter; his mother, Thelma Hattie Robinson Cleaver, taught elementary school. Many accounts portray Leroy Cleaver as a violent man who beat his wife. Eldridge Cleaver recalled those beatings as the beginning of his “ambition to grow up tall and strong, like my daddy, but bigger and stronger than he, so …

College Station Freedom School

While the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1954 ruling in Brown v. Board of Education marked the end of legally sanctioned school segregation, the implementation of the mandate was slow in coming. The College Station Freedom School was a short-lived effort in 1970 that shined a spotlight on the challenges that school officials and families, Black and white, faced in making the promise of Brown real. While Brown signified a legal end to school segregation, the southern response was anything but supportive, and no state offered a higher profile example of that approach, as well as the potential fallout, than Arkansas with the crisis at Central High School in the fall of 1957. The process of desegregation remained slow, and it was …

Cuban Refugee Crisis

Arkansas played a part in the international drama of 1980, when 125,000 Cubans left their homeland for a new life in the United States. Roughly 25,000 of these Cuban refugees—called Marielitos because they had departed Cuba from the port of Mariel—were housed for a time at Fort Chaffee in Sebastian County. Their presence in Arkansas created social and political tension widely thought to have had an impact on the Arkansas governor’s race of 1980. Cuba and the Boatlift The crisis of 1980 began April 11 of that year, when Hector Sanyustiz, accompanied by five friends, drove a Havana city bus through a gate onto the grounds of the Peruvian Embassy to Cuba. The six intended to seek political asylum. By …