List of Honorees by Last Name


  • Annie M. Abrams

    Annie M. Abrams was born September 25, 1931 in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. Because of limited educational opportunities for African-Americans in this small rural town she moved to Little Rock, Arkansas, where she finished Dunbar High School, Dunbar Junior College, and Philander Smith College. Her years of grassroots level activism and civic connections with historical personalities from (more)

  • Gerald Alley

    Gerald Byron Alley was born in Pine, Bluff Arkansas, on September 30, 1952. He was the youngest of five children. At the early age of four years old, Gerald began his formal education. He attended public and black private schools in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. At the age of sixteen, he enrolled in the College of (more)

  • Daisy Anderson

    Until her death on Saturday, September 19, 1998, Mrs. Daisy Anderson held the distinction of being one of three surviving Civil War Veteran’s widows. She was the last surviving widow of a Union Veteran and an African-American Buffalo Soldier. (more)

  • Chief Master Richard E. Anderson

    Chief Master Richard E. Anderson is the highest ranking African American out of almost 400,000 members of the American Taekwondo Association (ATA), World Traditional Taekwondo Union and Songahm Taekwondo Federation. He has been involved with Taekwondo and the ATA for over 39 years. Chief Master Anderson is the pulse behind Anderson’s Taekwondo Center Camp Positive. (more)

  • Maya Angelou Photo
    Maya Angelou

    Ms. Maya Angelou is hailed as one of the great voices of contemporary literature and as a remarkable Renaissance woman. Being a poet, educator, historian, best-selling author, actress, playwright, civil-rights activist, producer and director, she continues to travel the world making appearances on college campuses, spreading her legendary wisdom. A mesmerizing vision of grace, swaying (more)

  • Hubert "Geese" Ausbie

    When Hurbert “Geese” Ausbie steps into a room or on a stage, electricity fills the air. The former Harlem Globetrotter seems to be larger than life as he begins his program with the sound of basketballs bouncing to an offbeat cadence. Excitement soars as school kids burst into applause. “It’s Geese Ausbie” — all 6-feet, (more)

  • Dr. Oliver Keith Baker

    ‘Oliver Keith Baker was born in McGehee, Arkansas, to Oliver Walter and Yvonne Brigham Baker. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1981. He received his Doctor of Philosophy in Physics from Stanford University in 1987. Dr. Baker pursued postdoctoral research at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. He (more)

  • Daisy L. Bates Photo
    Daisy L. Bates

    Mrs. Davisy L. Bates of 1207 West 28th Street, won international acclaim in 1985 for her role as mentor for the nine black students who broke the color barrier at Central High School to attend classes with white students. She is a native of Arkansas, born in Huttig (Union County). She is the recipient of (more)

  • Luenell Batson
    Luenell Batson

    Luenell, who uses only her first name, was born on March 12, 1959, in Tollette, Arkansas, as Luenell Batson. She is one of eight children and was raised in Northern California where she attended Castro Valley High School. Luenell is a comedian, actor and writer who began her career in the 1990s appearing regularly on (more)

  • Al Bell Photo
    Al Bell

    Stax Records, Memphis’ most successful record label was founded by Bluff City natives Jim Stewart and his sister, Estelle Axton. But Al Bell, born Alvertis Isbell in 1940 in Brinkley and raised in North Little Rock, became a driving force behind the company. Mr. Bell, who also worked in the Civil Rights movement, began promoting (more)

  • Fran Bennett

    An accomplished actress born in Malvern Arkansas, Fran Bennett earned a BS, MS and credit toward a Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She has acted in New York in such plays as Mandingo with the late Franchot Tone, The Cantilevered Terrace with Mildred Dunnock, Comedy of Errors, In White America and Mahalia. Ms. (more)

  • ReShonda Tate Billingsley Award Winning Author/ Journalist

    Growing up in Smackover and El Dorado, Arkansas, National Bestselling Author ReShonda Tate Billingsley spent her days making up stories (her mother used to call it lying). Little did her family know that active imagination would lead to a prosperous and successful literary career; and today, she is considered one of the top Inspirational Fiction (more)

  • Bishop Charles E. Blake

    Bishop Charles E. Blake serves as presiding Bishop of the 6 million member Church of God in Christ, one of our nation’s largest denominations. He also serves the Jurisdictional Prelate of the First Jurisdiction of Southern California comprised of more than 250 churches. Bishop Blake is the pastor of West Angeles Church of God in (more)

  • Gretha Boston

    Gretha Boston’s fame lies in her voice, which has earned her a Tony Award for her role as Queenie in the popular revival of Showboat, as well as many words of praise from New York critics. The mezzo-soprano was born in Crossett, Arkansas, the oldest of seven children. Her first singing experience came at the (more)

  • Lou Brock

    Among nearly 20,000 players to play Major League Baseball, Brock is the 22nd all-time hits leader with 3,023 lifetime hits and he is the 2nd all-time stolen base leader with 938 lifetime stolen bases. He was inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame in 1985. He was named one of the TOP 100 PLAYERS of the (more)

  • Evangeline Katherine Brown Photo
    Evangeline Katherine Brown

    Mrs. Evangeline Katherine Brown was born in Norwood, Louisiana and raised throughout Arkansas. She attended high schools in Portland, McGehee and Dumas, Arkansas. While working in the education system, she chaired the Teachers of English Council for the Arkansas Teachers Association, was a board member of the Nation Council of English Teachers for nine years, (more)

  • Floyd Brown

    The late Floyd Brown was a strong believer in providing a good education to those for whom education was as a premium. That strong belief led him to establish one of the few private nondenominational schools for Black children ever established in this region of the United States. Brown was one of 10 children of (more)

  • Wiley Branton, Sr.

    Courageous, committed and loving are just three of the many positive adjectives that would aptly describe the late Wiley Austin Branton—–Whose name, like that of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, is firmly encased in the annals of civil-rights history. Mr. Branton was born in Pine Bluff on December 13, 1923, to Leo and Pauline (more)

  • Charles E. Bussey

    Born in Stamps, Arkansas December 18, 1918, Charles was the eldest child of Annie and Charles Bussey. Educated in the Stamps public schools, he attended Bishop College in Texas. He served in the United States Army and was a 33rd Degree Mason. Having spent most of his adult life in the Little Rock political arena, (more)

  • Abraham Carpenter, Sr and Family

    In the Natural State, only one name is synonymous with first-class produce. The Carpenter family has provided Arkansas-grown produce and unrivaled customer service to Arkansans for more than 40 years. Carpenter’s Produce is a vision realized by Abraham (Sr.) and Katie Carpenter. It started as an experiment. Mrs. Carpenter planted a one-acre plot on the (more)

  • Leo "Jocko" Louis Carter

    There is always a pioneer needed to conquer the landscape of new territories. Leo Louis Carter, or “Jocko” as he was known to his friends and listeners, was that pioneer in the field of urban radio. One of the first radio announcers for KOKY 1440 AM, the first station in Arkansas designed for the culture (more)

  • Dr. Vertie L. Carter

    Vertie L. Carter, historical trailblazer, was born in abject poverty October 19, 1923, in a two-room shack on a white man’s plantation. She walked five miles to the Negro one-room school, studied used books from the white school, lost her eyesight for a year at the age of nine, and raised pigs to graduate from (more)

  • Ambassador June Carter-Perry

    June Carter-Perry is a former educator, diplomat, and U.S. State Department official. Her lengthy and multi-faceted diplomatic career included service as the U.S. ambassador to both Lesotho and Sierra Leone. June Carter was born on November 13, 1943  in Texarkana, Arkansas. Her mother was in the Peace Corps long after she grew up, not while (more)

  • Faye Clarke

    Born Aug. 6, 1931 in Pine Bluff, Ark., Faye Clarke was the first African-American woman to graduate from Harvard Business School. But that isn’t her biggest significant accomplishment. That accomplishment has its roots in her shock and dismay at the abject poverty Ms. Clarke saw in schools during her trips though the South on behalf (more)

  • William Jefferson Clinton

    42nd President of the United States Founder, William Jefferson Clinton Foundation; Co-Chair with Nelson Mandela, International AIDS Trust; Co-Chair with Senator Robert Dole, Families of Freedom Fund; President of the United States 1993-2001; Governor of Arkansas 1979-1981,1983-1992. William Jefferson Clinton was elected President of the United States in 1992, and again in 1996-the first Democratic (more)

  • Dr. James H. Cones

    Coming soon… (more)

  • Milton Crenchaw

    Milton Crenchaw was born and raised in Little rock, Arkansas in 1919. He is the son of the former preacher and community leader, Reverend Joseph C. Crenchaw who died in the late 1950s at the age of 95. In 1941, Mr. Crenchaw was one of the original Flight Instructors for the Tuskegee flight experiment and (more)

  • Dr Granville Coggs

    Dr. Granville Coggs has set and achieved tremendous goals in his life… .as both a four star general an the battle against breast cancer and as an outstanding athlete. His current goal is to be around long enough to win the gold medal in the over 100 age group at the 2025 Senior Olympics in (more)

  • Mike Conley

    On his second jump at the 1992 Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain track-and-field athlete Mike Conley broke the Olympic Games record with a leap of 57 feet, 10 1/2 inches. But that wasn?t his best move. On his last attempt, he leaped into Olympic history with a jump of 59 feet, 7 1/4 inches. (more)

  • Lt. Col. Woodrow W Crockett

    As the proud story of the Tuskegee airmen comes to light, it is only fitting that Arkansas honor one of its own distinguished African-American fliers. Retired Lieutenant Colonel Woodrow W. Crockett. The glorious path taken by this heavily decorated veteran of World War II and the Korean conflict has already culminated in his October 1992 (more)

  • Danny K. Davis

    US Representative Danny K Davis (D-Ill.) has been described as ?a public servant, a true public-interested elected official.” Congressman Davis was born in Parkdale Arkansas, on September 6, 1941, and grew up in the state. After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from Arkansas AM&N College, he made his home on Chicago’s west side. He (more)

  • Dr. Erma Gasco Davis, PH. D.

    Erma Glasco Davis was born in Keo, Arkansas and was reared in south central Little Rock, also known as the South End.  She is a product of the Little Rock Public School System, graduating from Dunbar High School in May, 1945.  She received her Bachelor of Science degree from AM&N college, Pine bluff, Arkansas (now (more)

  • Judge L. Clifford Davis

    Judge L. Clifford Davis was born in Wilton, Arkansas (Red River County) in 1924. Since there were no Black high schools in Red River County, he moved to Little Rock with his older siblings to attend school at Dunbar High School. After graduating in 1945, Judge Davis wanted to be a train engineer until he (more)

  • Gregory A. Davis, Sr.

    Mr. Gregory A. Davis, Sr. is the CEO and President of Davis Broadcasting, Inc. (DBI). He is a native of Fort Smith, Arkansas. He received his Bachelors of Arts degree in Biology from Lane College in Jackson, Tennessee. Mr. Davis went on to serve in the United States Army, serving both at home and abroad. (more)

  • Dr. Lawrence A. Davis

    The life of Dr. Lawrence A. Davis is one of dedication, dedication to academic excellence; dedication to shaping the young minds of African-American youth. A dedication lovingly passed on to the next generation of the Davis family. A native of McCrory, Davis graduated from Arkansas AM & N College at Pine Bluff and served as (more)

  • Willie Davis

    The first defensive lineman to combine size with devastating speed, Willie Davis made his mark as a stalwart on the dominant Packers’ teams of the 1960s. Willie Davis loved football and was a star at Booker T. Washington High School in Texarkana, Arkansas. While playing, he never told his mother that he was on the (more)

  • Martha Dixon

    Martha Dixon, a life-long resident of Clark County, has used her degree in fashion design from Commercial Technical Institute in Little Falls, N.J., to create two successful fashion businesses. Her company, Martha’s Fashion Design, produces tailor-made suits, gowns and mother of the bride dresses. Her career began in 1985 when she began taking her creations (more)

  • Dr. Lloyd Elam

    Dr. Lloyd Elam, longtime president of Meharry Medical College in Nashville, has made an indelible and much-welcome mark on the field of mental health as well as the education of the nation’s finest block physicians. Born Oct. 27, 1928 in Little Rock, Elam earned a bachelor of science degree at Roosevelt University at Chicago in (more)

  • Dr. Joycelyn Elders

    Although she has been sharply criticized for her outspokenness as well as her stance on such sensitive issues as sex education and abortion, Dr. Joycelyn Elders, M.D., has proven a human study in courage, fortitude and tenacity. A native of Schaal, Arkansas, Dr. Elders is the oldest of eight children. Now a Pediatric Endocrinologist, she (more)

  • Mr. David Evans

    David L. Evans is a native of Phillips County, Ark., and holds degrees in electrical engineering from Tennessee State University and Princeton. Before coming to Harvard he worked in Huntsville, Ala., on the Saturn/Apollo Project that landed a man on the moon in 1969. While in Huntsville he began a voluntary, one-man college recruiting and (more)

  • Dr. Groover Evans

    Dr. Grover Evans has distinguished himself as one of those whose indomitable spirit refused to let disability stand in his way of his quest for personal excellence; both in the athletic realm and in the area of serving his fellow man. Born and raised in Jonesboro, the Arkansas State University and LaSalle University graduate became (more)

  • Honorable Timothy C. Evans Noted Jurist and Judicial Leader

    Timothy C. Evans serves as the Chief Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County, the largest of the 22 judicial circuits in Illinois and also one of the largest unified court systems in the world. He is a 1965 graduate of the University of Illinois and received his J.D. from The John Marshall Law (more)

  • Derek Fisher

    It has been said that success is the union of preparation and opportunity. If we accept this adage, then Derek Fisher is the epitome of success. Fisher, a native of Little Rock, Arkansas, has gained national recognition as the starting point guard for five-time NBA champions, the Los Angeles Lakers.  Fisher is a graduate of (more)

  • Harold Flowers

    Pioneering Attorney and Civil Rights Leader W. Harold Flowers dedicated his life to improving the lives of all Arkansas. Many of the civil liberties that Black Arkansas enjoy today were made possible by his pioneering efforts and contributions as a civil rights attorney and community activist. Born October 16, 1911 in Stamps (Lafayette County), Arkansas, (more)

  • Lela Rochon Fuqua

    Lela Rochon Fuqua With numerous critically acclaimed performances under her belt, Lela Rochon Fuqua has emerged as one of Hollywood (more)

  • Judge Mifflin W. Gibbs

    Mifflin Wistar Gibbs was a Little Rock, Arkansas businessman, politician, and the first elected African-American municipal judge in the United States. Gibbs was born on April 17, 1823 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He learned carpentry through an apprenticeship. He read widely and attended debates at the Philadelphia Library Company of Colored Persons. He had a chance (more)

  • Ernest G. Green Photo
    Ernest G. Green

    Mr. Green is a Managing Director at Lehman Brothers, based in their Washington D.C. office. He has participated in the planning of senior-managed transactions for clients that include the cities of New York, Atlanta, Oakland, St. Louis, Cleveland, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Chicago, The Metro Washington Airport Authority, Denver Airport, Wayne County Detroit Metropolitan Airport, Dallas/Fort (more)

  • Dr. Mildred Barnes Griggs
    Dr. Mildred Barnes Griggs, Esquire

    Dr. Mildred Barnes Griggs is professor and Dean Emeritus at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. She is a native of Marianna, Arkansas, and completed her undergraduate degree at Arkansas A.M. & N. in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, in May of 1963. She earned her graduate degrees from the University of Illinois in 1967 and 1970 (more)

  • Estella & Knoxie Hall

    December 16, 1944 marked the beginning of a lifetime commitment between Knoxie Hall, Sr. and Estella Marie Crenshaw Hall. Knoxie Hall was born September 13, 1924 and his bride, Estella, was born November 24, 1927. The marriage resulted in seven children, Rosalind, Kathryn, Knoxie, Jr. (Gloria), Miriam (Oscar Horton), Curtis, Gail (Johnny Marshall), and David (more)

  • Kathryn Hall-Trujillo

    Heroes are individuals who see needs and meet them. Kathryn Hall-Trujillo, a native of Moscow, Arkansas (a small community south of Pine Bluff) is one such individual. She recognized that economically deprived women needed access to quality healthcare. This hero put her training and education in Public Health (BA and MA from the University of (more)

  • Lawrence Hamilton

    Lawrence Hamilton, the son of the late Dr. Oscar and Mrs. Mae Dell Hamilton, was born in the small southwest Arkansas town of Foreman With an interest in music stemming from childhood, Hamilton earned a music scholarship to attend Henderson State University in Arkadelphia where he studied piano and voice He graduated in 1976 with (more)

  • Dr. Sybil Jordan Hampton

    Dr. Sybil Jordan Hampton – Born in Springfield, Missouri, Sybil Jordan Hampton spent all of her childhood and adolescent years in Little Rock Arkansas. After a lengthy career in education that took her away from her home state, Dr. Hampton returned to Little Rock to become President of the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation. She was one (more)

  • Delores Handy-Brown

    Delores Handy-Brown was born April 7, 1947 in Little Rock, Arkansas and attended the Little Rock public Schools.  She is now a broadcast journalist and news anchor at WNUR, National Public Radio’s Boston station.  She is fill-in-in host of Boston University World of Ideas, a weekly one-hour show in which University faculty and the Boston (more)

  • E. Lynn Harris

    E. Lynn Harris was born in Flint, Michigan and raised along with three sisters in Little rock, Arkansas. He attended the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville where he was the school (more)

  • Dr. Ernest James Harris

    Try saying Biosteres arisanus to the vast majority of people you encounter, and you’re likely to he met with raised brows and quizzical looks. Pot simply however, it’s the “Harris strain,” a parasitic wasp named for and bred by celebrated entomologist and North Little Rock native son, Ernest James Harris. Harris, a research entomologist for (more)

  • Morris Hayes

    Music has always been an important force in the life of Morris Hayes.  As a child growing up in the small town  of Jefferson, Arkansas, music in the church touched his soul and inspired what would become a life long passion. He majored in Art at the University of Arkansas, Pine Bluff, but the lure (more)

  • Barbara Higgins Bond

    At the age of 12, Barbara Higgins Bond began painting and drawing as a hobby. Today, her work for the U.S. Postal Service and corporate clients has earned her a national reputation as an illustrator and commercial artist. Born and raised in Little Rock, Bond decided her career after taking an elective art course at (more)

  • James E. K. Hildreth, PH.D, MD First Arkansas African American Rhodes Scholar, Noted Scientist

    James E. K. Hildreth, M.D. is Director of the Center for AIDA Health Disparities Research, a National Institutes of Health funded center at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee. Dr. Hildreth was born and raised in Camden, Arkansas. He gradated valedictorian from Camden High School in 1975 and began studies at Harvard University that fall. (more)

  • Jerry T. Hodges, Jr

    Jerry T. Hodges, Jr. was born in Memphis, Tennessee but shortly after his birth, his mother returned with Jerry to Hughes, Arkansas to the family farm. His family lost their farms during the depression years, whereupon his father moved the family to a farm in Heth, Arkansas. His father later purchased an 80-acre wooded farm (more)

  • Colette D. Honorable

    Colette D. Honorable was reappointed to a six-year term and designated Chairman of the Arkansas Public Service Commission by Governor Mike Beebe in January 2011. She was appointed to the Arkansas Public Service Commission by Governor Beebe in October 2007, and designated interim Chairman from January through August 2008. Chairman Honorable previously served as Executive (more)

  • Theressa Hoover

    Revered in Methodist church circles, Theressa Hoover’s work continues to have positive outreach and impact in the United Methodist Church and the ecumenical world. A Fayetteville native, Mrs. Hover graduated from Philander Smith College in 1946 with a B.A. Degree in Business Administration. (more)

  • Judge George Howard Jr. Photo
    Judge George Howard Jr.

    Judge George Howard, Jr. is a native of Pine Bluff Arkansas, and received his early education in the public schools of the city. Judge Howard’s undergraduate and pre law education were commenced at Lincoln University, Jefferson City, Missouri, under the combined Degree Program. After the completion of the requirements for entry to the Lincoln University (more)

  • Torii Kedar Hunter
    Torii Kedar Hunter

    Torii Kedar Hunter, a seven time Gold Glove outfielder for the Los Angeles Angels, was born on July 18, 1975 in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Torii Hunter has shown his athletic ability, having taken away many home runs throughout his 11 year baseball career for the Minnesota Twins. Torii was selected as the Twins’ first-round pick (more)

  • Hazel Shanks Hynson

    Educator and Musician Extraordinaire Hazel Shanks Hynson is a renowned educator and an extraordinary musician who through the years has trained many accomplished musicians including the late jazz musician Art Porter. Hynson earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in music, with a major in piano, from Atlanta University. She completed further study in piano, including (more)

  • Dr. G. W. Stanley Ish, Sr. Photo
    Dr. G. W. Stanley Ish, Sr.

    Dr. G.W. Stanley Ish, Sr., born on October 28, 1883, was a renowned physician, humanitarian and family man. He was a great orator who demanded excellence of all whose lives he touched-family, friends, cohorts, patients, employees, and community acquaintances. Dr. Ish graduated from high school in Little Rock and obtained a Bachelor’s degree from Talladega (more)

  • Joseph "Joe" Jackson

    Fountain Hill, Arkansas is a small town northeast of El Dorado. According to the 2010 census, signs located at the town’s border would read “Fountain Hill: Population 68.” But this small town is home to one of music’s biggest personalities.  Joseph “Joe” Walter Jackson was born in Fountain Hill on July 26, 1929. He is (more)

  • Keith Jackson

    Retired NFL tight end Keith Jerome Jackson has been referred to as “one of the National Football League’s most productive tight ends over the past decade.” His career culminated with his helping the Green Bay Packers sweep to a club-record 16 victories and the Super Bowl XXXI Championship in 1996. Born in Little Rock, Jackson (more)

  • Rickey L. Jasper

    Rickey Jasper went from simple beginnings to one of the highest-ranking officials in the Central Intelligence Agency. Born on July 28, 1963, in Parkdale, Arkansas, Jasper has never found himself lacking in ability against high-caliber competition. According to those close to him, he has always been on a mission. He earned a Bachelor of Science (more)

  • Gertrude Hadley Jeannett

    Gertrude Hadley Jeannette’s life has unfolded in such a way that it possesses a theatrical quality of its own. Her life story could play like some of the productions and movies in which she’s performed. Hers would be the tale of the spunky heroine who triumphs over adversity and makes it in the big city (more)

  • Honorable Glenn T. Johnson

    Justice Glenn T. Johnson was born in Washington, Arkansas, July 19, 1917. He attended elementary and high school in Washington, Hope and Hot Springs, Arkansas. Justice Johnson earned the degrees of Bachelor of Science in education from Wilberforce University, Xenia, Ohio and Juries Doctor and Master of Laws from the John Marshall Law School of (more)

  • John H. Johnson Photo
    John H. Johnson

    Born in Arkansas City, Arkansas, January 19, 1918, John H. Johnson is best known as a publisher, businessman and humanitarian. Mr. Johnson and his wife, Eunice, make their home in Chicago and occasionally reside in Palm Springs, California. They have one child, Linda Johnson Rice. Mr. Johnson graduated with honors from DuSable High School and (more)

  • Brig. General William Johnson High Ranking Military Leader

    Brigadier General William J. Johnson, a native son of Arkansas, has served in the Arkansas National Guard for more than 30 years. On January 1, 2008, Brigadier General William Johnson assumed duties as Deputy Adjutant General, Arkansas National Guard. As the Deputy Adjutant General, he serves as the full-time chief advisor and principal assistant to (more)

  • Dr. Edith Irby Jones

    Attending integrated classes, but dining in a segregated area of the campus cafeteria, Dr. Edith Irby Jones, in 1952, became the first African-American to graduate from the College of Medicine at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. In fact, she was the first black admitted to a white medical school, south of the Mason-Dixon (more)

  • Scipio A Jones

    s a lawyer committed to helping blacks in the courtroom and in the post-Reconstruction political arena, the late Scipio Africanus Jones helped blaze the trail of Arkansas history. Born into a slave family about 1863, Jones at an early age joined the household of Horace Jones in Tulip (Dallas County). In 1881, the teenage Scipio (more)

  • Louis Thomas Jordan

    Louis Thomas Jordan was born on July 8, 1908 in Brinkley, Arkansas. The son of a musician, he learned to play the saxophone as a youth and majored in music later at the Arkansas Baptist College. He also toured with the famed Rabbit Foot Minstrels, who were the backing musicians for a number of blues (more)

  • Dr. Wilbert C Jordan

    Dr. Wilbert C. Jordan has proven himself to be a fighter, especially when it comes to one of the most devastating diseases in the latter part of the 20th Century: Aids. He is one of the leading authorities on AIDS prevention and treatment. A Los Angeles native and the youngest of 17 children, Jordan graduated (more)

  • Ernest P Joshua Photo
    Ernest P Joshua

    Mr. Ernest P. Joshua, Sr. is the founder and CEO of J. M. Products, Inc. (J.M.), based in Little Rock, AR. J.M. Products, Inc. is the manufacturer of ISOPLUS, ISOPLUS for KIDS, ISOPLUS Healthy Solutions Plus, UpTurn, Oil of K and Black Magic brand products The Company is one of the largest manufacturers. of ethnic (more)

  • Cortez Kennedy
    Cortez Kennedy

    Cortez Kennedy was born on August 23, 1968, in Osceola, Arkansas, but grew up in Wilson, Arkansas. After graduating from Rivercrest High School in Wilson, where he helped lead his team to the 3-A State Championship in 1985, Kennedy attended Northwest Mississippi Community College. He then won a football scholarship to the University of Miami (more)

  • Ethel & James Kerney

    The lives of Ethel and James Kearney have been described as truly amazing. Their story as struggling sharecroppers, is one that has captured the essence of the American spirit.  The Kearneys’ greatest legacy and most selfless contribution to state and county is their 18 children, who serve as mentors for youth throughout America. (more)

  • Dr. Samuel Lee Kountz

    The medical profession will be forever enhanced by the contributions of the late Dr. Samuel Lee Kountz. During his lifetime, the internationally reknown pioneer of organ transplant surgery performed, 500 kidney transplants.. An article in the Arkansas Biography Newsletter specifically lauds Kountz as being responsible for discovery of the effectiveness of methyl prednisolone in reversing (more)

  • Bishop D. L. Lindsey, Sr.
    Bishop D. L. Lindsey, Sr

    Bishop Donne Lee Lindsey, Sr. was born in Bluff City, Arkansas, April 17, 1924. Bishop Lindsey has been married to Irma Moore Lindsey since September 1, 1946. They have three children, Donna (Larry), DeJuana, and Donnie II (Eleanor). The Lindsey’s have four grandchildren, Valerie, Donnie III, Warren and Nia, two great-grandchildren, Lindsey (deceased) and Kayla. (more)

  • Henri Linton

    You might not recognize his name, but his work might be familiar to you. Henri Linton’s artistic talents are on display for the world to see at corporations across the country. His paintings decorate the walls of hospitals, banks, colleges, universities, and airports. Mr. Linton is currently the Professor and chairman of the Department of (more)

  • The Little Rock Nine

    The Little Rock Nine were a group pf African-American students who enrolled in the Little Rock Central High School in 1957. The ensuing Little Rock Crisis, in which the students were initially prevented from entering the racially segregated school by Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus, and then attended after the intervention of President Dwight Eisenhower, was (more)

  • Haki Madhabuti

    Haki R. Madhubuti is an African-American author, educator, and poet. Madhubuti is a much sought-after poet and lecturer, and has convened workshops and served as guest/keynote speaker at thousands of colleges, universities, libraries and community centers in the U.S. and abroad. (more)

  • Mahlon Martin

    The Late Mahlon Martin once said, “What’s scary is when you’re first AND the last.” Mr. Martin was speaking of his life experience as the First African-American to hold various positions of authority in state government and in the private sector. Mr. Martin was a first in many instances. As City Manager of Little Rock (more)

  • Bishop Charles Harrison Mason

    Bishop Charles Harrison Mason, who later became the founder and organizer of the Church of God in Christ, was born September 8, 1866, on the Prior Farm near Memphis, Tennessee. His father and mother, Jerry and Eliza Mason, were members of a Missionary Baptist Church. Bishop Mason was saved in November, 1878. In 1893, he (more)

  • Deborah Mathis

    Deborah Mathis’ Arkansas roots run deep. Before becoming a nationally known author, syndicated columnist, respected television commentator and professor of journalism, she was simply a girl growing up in Little Rock, the daughter of the Rev. Lloyd Myers (now deceased) and Mrs. Rachel A. Myers Jones. Mathis was born in Little Rock on August 24, (more)

  • Justice Richard L. Mays, Sr.

    Richard L. Mays, Sr. is the senior and founding partner of Mays, Byrd & Associates, P.A. (Formerly, Mays & Crutcher, P.A.) which was established in 1977. His practice specialties include civil rights, corporate law, public finance, personal injury, government affairs and business law/contracts. Mr. Mays has represented a wide range of clients from municipalities to (more)

  • Rose McCoy
    Rose McCoy

    From a tin-top shack in Oneida, Arkansas to the Brill Building, the center of New York’s songwriting and music publishing industry, that was the journey of Rose Marie McCoy. She is one of the most influential and prolific songwriters of classic soul, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Jazz, Rhythm & Blues and gospel; and with over 850 (more)

  • Gladys McFadden & The Loving Sisters

    Gladys McFadden and the Loving Sisters first started singing around the home fires in Arkansas when they were very young. The original members of the group “Gladys, Leona, Lorraine, Josephine and Anna ” are the daughters of the Rev and Mrs. Aaron Williams. The girls gained experience singing in the Reverend’s church and choir under (more)

  • Robert McFerrin

    Sandwiched between the widely publicized Metropolitan Opera debuts of Marian Anderson and Leontyne Price was the January 27, 1955 debut of Robert McFerrin. He became the first African-American opera singer to have a permanent position with the Metropolitan Opera Company. Although, Marian Anderson was the first to break the racial barrier, she sang only one (more)

  • Dr Patricia Washington McGraw

    oted Educator, Author and Humanitarian Dr. Patricia Washington McGraw is a retired University of Central Arkansas professor of English and African/African American Studies. Recognized for her outstanding achievements as an educational/civic leader and social advocate, she has received over 300 teaching excellence and community service awards on the local, state and national levels. McGraw graduated (more)

  • James McKissic Photo
    James McKissic

    Mr. James McKissic was born March 16, 1940 in Little Rock, Arkansas. Mr. McKissic has a B. S. Degree in Music Education from A. M. & N College, 1962, Pine Bluff Arkansas (now University of Arkansas Pine Bluff). He is Professor of Chamber Music, University of California Berkeley, California. He has performed concerts in USA, (more)

  • Joseph Daniel McQuany
    Joseph Daniel McQuany

    In 1972 Joseph Daniel McQuany (1928 – 2007) incorporated Serenity House as a private non-profit organization. Through his work, “Joe” as he was known, touched, and indeed transformed the lives of many tens of thousands in the local, state, national and international communities who had addictions. In 1962 Joe McQuany made a decision, to become (more)

  • Amina Claudine Meyers

    Amina Claudine Myers is a triple-treat artist: composer, multi-keyboardist and vocalist. But she meshes that triple treat into a singular forum on her unique sound. From dusty-road country blues and soulful organ funk to shimmering tone poems and street-smart urban R&B – the result is the spontaneity and intimacy of jazz with the balance and (more)

  • Eliza Miller

    Businesswoman, philanthropist, wife, mother author and Christian. No reference to Eliza A. Miller’s remarkable life would be adequate without multiple descriptors. During a time when African-Americans endured overt racism, and in a region whose name became synonymous with significant economic challenge, Mrs. Miller’s self-taught business acumen helped bring growth and prosperity to the Arkansas Delta. (more)

  • Sidney Moncrief

    It seems that Sidney Moncrief has always been around. Whether as a high school athlete, a professional athlete or as the owner of a car dealership, who appeared in his own commercials, Sidney has been a fixture in our lives for nearly three decades. In that time, Mr. Moncrief has brought fame to our state (more)

  • Raye J. Montague, RPE

    Raye J. Montague, RPE is a retired internationally registered professional engineer. She earned her BS at AM&N College (now the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff). She began a career in Washington, DC with the United States Navy in 1956 and retired in 1990 after serving in numerous leadership roles during her tenure of thirty-three (more)

  • Vice Admiral Edward Moore, Jr.

    Vice Admiral Edward Moore, Jr. can describe, from first-hand experience, a long and illustrious Naval career that has timely taken him from sea to shining sea. After attending high school in Little Rock, Moore enlisted in the U. S. Naval Reserve in 1963. Following his graduation from Southern Illinois University in June 1968, he was (more)

  • Herwald H Morton

    The name Herwald H. Morton will always be a beacon in the annals of the history of the U.S. Information Agency. At the time of his retirement from the agency in 1993, Morton had reached the personal rank of career minister ” the highest career rank in the Foreign Service.” A 1948 graduate of Little (more)

  • Amina Claudine Myers

    Amina Claudine Myers is a triple-treat artist: composer, multi-keyboardist and vocalist. But she meshes that triple treat into a singular forum on her unique sound. From dusty-road country blues and soulful organ funk to shimmering tone poems and street-smart urban R&B – the result is the spontaneity and intimacy of jazz with the balance and (more)

  • Judge Olly Neal

    Judge Olly Neal was born in the New Hope Community of Lee County on a small family farm. He attended segregated Lee County Public Schools, graduating from Moton High School in 1958. Following high school graduation, Judge Neal attended LeMoyne College for 2 ½ years during which time he was actively involved in challenging segregation (more)

  • W.R. Smokie Norful, Jr. Grammy Award-Winning Gospel Recording Artist

    Pastor Smokie Norful, a minister who is the son of an African Methodist Episcopal Church (A.M.E.) minister, was born in Little Rock, Arkansas. He grew up in Pine Bluff, and was deeply involved in his fathers church. He was interested in music from a very young age, reportedly picking out one-finger piano melodies at age (more)

  • Dr. Charles E. Phillips, Jr.

    Charles Phillips, who was born in 1959 in Little Rock, Arkansas, is Chief Executive Officer of Infor, the third largest business software company in the world. Infor has 13,000 employees in 164 countries with $3 billion in revenue and 700,000 customers and is headquartered in Silicon Alley in New York City. Prior to Infor, Phillips (more)

  • Anita Pointer

    Anita Pointer is the legendary Grammy Award winning, lead vocalist of the world-renowned group, The Pointer Sisters. Anita scats; she sings country, R&B, rock, and gospel and always leaves her audiences wanting more. Anita Pointer’s roots are in Prescott, Arkansas. Anita began singing in church where her parents Reverend Elton and Reverend Sarah Pointer were (more)

  • Art Porter, Jr.

    Arthur Lee (Art) Porter Jr. was born in Little Rock, Arkansas on August 3, 1961. Porter began his music career under the tutelage of his father, legendary jazz musician, Arthur Porter, Sr. who surrounded him with everything musical. He performed proficiently on drums, saxophone and piano. He was classically trained, but his performances ranged across (more)

  • Art Porter Sr. Photo
    Art Porter Sr.

    Mr. Art Porter was born Arthur Lee Porter, February 8, 1934 to Eugene and Lillie Porter in Little Rock, Arkansas. Art’s family also included an older brother, Eugene. He attended the local public schools and received a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from UAPB (formerly A.M. & N College). He earned a Master’s degree from (more)

  • Eddie Reed
    Eddie Reed, M.D.

    Born in Heth, Arkansas, Dr. Eddie Reed was the tenth of eighteen children in his family. He graduated from Hughes High School in 1971, then earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1975. Dr. Reed went on to attend Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, where he (more)

  • Pearlie S. Reed

    Pearlie S. Reed was born on June 14, 1948 in Heth, Arkansas. Reed graduated from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff with a degree in Animal Husbandry and received a Master’s of Public Administration degree from the American University, Washington, D.C. Pearlie Reed was sworn in as the Assistant Secretary for Administration in the (more)

  • Bass Reeves

    Bass Reeves was one of the first African-American Deputy U.S. Marshals west of the Mississippi River. Born into slavery in 1838, he escaped from his owner during the Civil War and found refuge in Indian Territory (present day Oklahoma.) The Native Americans often took in African Americans, because they considered them to be as mistreated (more)

  • Michelle Revere
    Michelle Revere

    Fashion and Home Designer, Michelle Revere, a native of Little Rock, Arkansas has been embracing the finest European and American Designs for over thirty years. Early on in Michelle’s life she found her love for fashion and began a very promising career as a couture buyer for several great specialty stores in Little Rock. As (more)

  • Dr. Emma Rhodes

    One of 16 children, a high school dropout, married and at age 16 a mother of the first of six children, Dr. Emma Rhodes broke the cycle of becoming a victim. At the age of 24, Dr. Rhodes worked to obtain her GED while still caring for a growing family. She then attended a commercial (more)

  • J. Donald Rice

    J. Donald Rice is president and chief executive officer of Rice Financial Products Company in New York. The founder of the only minority-owned derivatives firm in the nation traces his roots back to the Natural State “to the age of four, precisely” when his father, Rev. J. Donald Rice, Sr., moved his family to Hot (more)

  • Andrea Layton Roaf

    Having first distinguished herself as a respected biologist, Andree Layton Roaf of Pine Bluff has truly proven her mettle with a trailblazing law career which culminated in her being the second woman, and the first African-American woman-to sit on the Arkansas Supreme Court. A 1958 graduate of Muskegon heights High School in Muskegon Heights, Michigan (more)

  • Willie Layton Roaf

    Willie Roaf, born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas on April 18, 1970 to dentist Clifton Roaf and Attorney Andree Layton Roaf, was picked in the first round of the 1993 NFL draft by the New Orleans Saints. Roaf spent 13 years in the NFL, the first nine with the Saints and the last four with the (more)

  • Roy Roberts

    It is said that business and pleasure shouldn (more)

  • Fatima Robinson

    World Renowned Dancer and Choreographer As a critically acclaimed dancer, choreographer and director, Fatima Robinson is the woman behind the moves for some of today’s top music artists including OutKast, the Black Eyed Peas, Will Smith, Mary J. Blige and the late Aaliyah. Her eclectic, fluid, urban style has made her one of the hottest (more)

  • Bobby Rush

    Born Emmit Ellis, Jr. in Homer, Louisiana, Rush was the son of Ellis Sr. and Mattie Ellis. His father was a pastor whose guitar and harmonica playing provided early musical influences. As a young child he began experimenting with music using a sugarcane syrup bucket and a broom-wire “diddley-bow.” Around 1946, he and the family (more)

  • Pharaoh Sanders

    Internationally Renowned Jazz Musician One of the greatest jazz impresarios of our time, Pharaoh Sanders, was born Ferrell Sanders on October 13, 1940 in Little Rock, Arkansas. Born into a musical family, he learned to play the saxophone as youngster and honed his skills performing behind 1950s headliners in the R&B clubs on Little Rock’s (more)

  • Ms. Cynthia M. Scott

    Cynthia Scott was born in El Dorado, Arkansas the 10th of 12 children. She began singing gospel music at the age of four in her father’s church, the source of her inspirational drive and artistry. In 1969, Cynthia was the first African American to enter the all-white Miss El Dorado Pageant and won second place. (more)

  • Lottie H Shackleford Photo
    Lottie H Shackleford

    Lottie Shackelford, Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee, has served as a local, state and national political official for the past twenty years. Ms. Shackelford’s career as a local elected official began in 1978 as a member of the Board of Directors for the city of Little Rock, Arkansas. She was re-elected, city-wide, three (more)

  • Henry Shead

    Born in Fordyce but raised in Little Rock, Henry Shead was one of five children of a reverend. At the tender age of six, Henry was introduced to the keyboards by his mother who immediately recognized his natural talent. Henry’s mother saw to it that her son had piano lessons while his father’s church provided (more)

  • Rodney Slater

    From the humble town of Marianna, Arkansas ” said to be one of the poorest areas in America ” rose a man who “dared to dream.” Rodney B. Slater’s dreams have taken him all the way from that humble town to Washington, D.C., where he now serves as the Secretary of Transportation. He is only (more)

  • The Honorable Lavenski R. Smith

    Lavenski R Smith was born and raised in Hope, Arkansas Born October 31, 1958; he is the son of Cayce B (deceased) and Olee M Smith After graduating from Hope High School in 1977, he enrolled in the University of Arkansas where he received a bachelors degree in 1981 He obtained his law degree from (more)

  • O. C. Smith

    The life of O. C. Smith, according to one biography, ‘has had the flow and tempo of a hit song that finds its audience and never lets go.” His million-seller song “Little Green Apples” won a Grammy nomination. Smith also is known for the hits “Hickory Holler’s Tramp” and “Daddy;’s Little Man,” and is remembered (more)

  • Mr. Shaffer Chimere Smith

    Heroes are individuals who see needs and meet them. Kathryn Hall-Trujillo, a native of Moscow, Arkansas (a small community south of Pine Bluff) is one such individual. She recognized that economically deprived women needed access to quality healthcare. This hero put her training and education in Public Health (BA and MA from the University of (more)

  • Phyllis Yvonne Stickney

    Film, theater, television, radio, and one-woman performances have made Phyllis Yvonne Stickney- actress, comedian, lecturer, writer, dancer, choreographer and Little Rock native—a standout far beyond the scope of the black community. Born in Little Rock, Stickney was raised in the various US cities to which her father, a YMCA executive, was transferred. However, she settled (more)

  • William Grant Still

    Long known as the “Dean of American Negro Composers”, as well as one of America’s foremost composers, Dr. William Grant Still was a legend in his own lifetime. Dr. Still, who wrote more than 150 compositions ranging from operas to arrangements of folk themes, is best known as a pioneer. He was the first African-American (more)

  • John H Stroger Jr

    Distinguished Civil and Political Leader A committed public servant, leader, volunteer and family man, John H. Stroger Jr. is dedicated to improving the quality of life for all the residents of Cook County in Chicago, Illinois. In 1994 he became the first African-American president of the Cook County Board of Commissioners and was re-elected to (more)

  • John Stubblefield

    Tenor saxophonist John Stubblefield ranks among the most powerful and innovative soloists of the post-Coltrane generation, collaborating with modern jazz and avant-garde giants which included Charles Mingus, whose big band Stubblefield later spearheaded. Born February 4, 1945, in Little Rock, Arkansas, Stubblefield first studied the piano, but moved to saxophone as a teen. The product (more)

  • Lencola Sullivan

    Lencola Sullivan made history by breaking through the color barrier within the Miss American Pageant. Sullivan became the first African-American to win every competition she ever entered. Her first foray into pageants was in 1977 when she represented her hometown of Morrilton. She won the title of Miss Morrilton in 1977 and Miss University of (more)

  • Lieutenant Colonel Yolonda R. Summons

    Yolonda Summons hails from Little Rock, Arkansas. Graduating from Little Rock McClellan High School she earned a full basketball scholarship to Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biology and being commissioned as a US Army Officer in May of 1992, Yolonda entered active duty in the (more)

  • Ozell Sutton

    To those who know him as a professional the name Ozell Sutton has come to be synonymous with integrity, determination and trailblazing. His greatest accomplishments have been in the area of civil rights. Mr. Sutton was decoy for the Little Rock Nine, diverting the vehement anger of the mob that gathered to keep nine black (more)

  • Reece "Goose" Tatum

    Goose Tatum was born in Calion, Arkansas, on May 3, 1921. He attended El Dorado High School in El Dorado, Arkansas. Goose was discovered by Abe Saperstein, owner of the Harlem Globetrotters, in 1941 at a Negro League Baseball game. Saperstein was the scout who signed Satchel Paige to a contract in Cleveland. Goose was (more)

  • Johinne Taylor

    For more than three decades, Johnnie Taylor’s soulful sound and trademark delivery have been mainstays of R&B music. In an industry characterized and defined by its fickle nature, Mr. Taylor’s distinctive voice has achieved for him consistent popularity and a solidly loyal fan base. Like many singers, Mr. Taylor’s first “audience” was a church congregation; (more)

  • Sister Rosetta Tharpe

    Sister Rosetta Tharpe was born as Rosetta Nubin on March 20, 1915, in Cotton Plant, Arkansas. Tharpe’s mother, Katie Bell Nubin, was a singer, mandolin player and evangelist preacher for the Church of God in Christ (COGIC). At the encouragement of her mother,Tharpe began singing and playing the guitar at the age of four. She (more)

  • C. Michael Tidwell
    C. Michael Tidwell

    C. Michael Tidwell, a Little Rock native, is a jewel, not only within the black community, but to all the people of central Arkansas and the state. He has devoted a continuance of time and effort, both professionally and personally, to develop and promote artistic excellence in our great state through the art of dance. (more)

  • Debbye Turner Photo
    Debbye Turner

    Since she was crowned Miss America 1990, Dr. Debbye Turner has spoken to more than 200,000 students at over 200 schools, youth organizations and college campuses. Her topics include personal excellence, unrelenting determination, goal setting, and the importance of a solid education. She strongly believes that any person has the potential for success no matter (more)

  • Sheryl Underwood

    Comedian Sheryl Underwood was born October 28, 1963 in Little Rock, Arkansas. Her career began in 1989 when she became the Miller Lite Comedy Search’s first female finalist. (more)

  • John W Walker

    John W. Walker can certainly attest to the incredible difference that one person can make in another’s life even if that difference is not readily identifiable as positive. Following his 1954 graduation from Jack Yates High School in Houston, Texas, Walker was admitted as one of the first six black undergraduate students at the University (more)

  • A. D. Washington

    Coming soon… (more)

  • Lenny Williams

    “Lenny” Williams possesses one of the most distinctive voices in contemporary music. With his rich, passionate vocal style, he is rightfully regarded as one of R & B’s most influential soul men. Leonard Charles “Lenny” Williams was born February 16, 1945 in Little Rock, Arkansas. At a young age he moved to Oakland, California. His (more)

  • Dr. Robert Lee Williams

    For some, barriers only give rise to means that move them past obstacles and onto the pathway to success. Dr. Robert Lee Williams chose to push through the racial, cultural, and social barriers that existed in the early twentieth century, to become one of the most respected thinkers of our time. He used education to (more)

  • Dr. Samuel Williams

    Samuel W. Williams, PHD. Was born in Sparkman, Arkansas but spent most of his formative years in Dermott, Arkansas.  His love of God, quest for knowledge and love for his fellow man, particularly those less fortunate, propelled him to life’s stage as a scholar, religious, civic and civil rights advisor. Dr. Williams obtained degrees from (more)

  • Sterling Williams
    Sterling Williams

    Sterling Williams, MD, is a native of Little Rock, Arkansas. Dr. Williams has emerged as a noted scientist and medical doctor, who has contributed to the field of medicine throughout the United States and the world. Dr. Williams is the Vice President for Education at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) in Washington, (more)