There is something kind of wonderful that the exhibition "Arkansas African American Legislators, 1868-1893" is being displayed at Lakeport Plantation, south of Lake Village, Arkansas's only antebellum home along the Mississippi left standing and a place where 95 slaves once toiled.
The traveling exhibition, produced by the Arkansas History Commission and the Black History Commission of Arkansas, tells the story of the 1868 constitution that allowed black males to vote and hold office, as well as the later election law "reforms" that white Arkansans voted in to end African American representation in the legislature. It runs through June at Lakeport.
Eighty-five African Americans served in the General Assembly in the 19th century, among them professionals, merchants, ministers, farmers and others. Voters in Chicot County, where Lakeport is located, and other southeast Arkansas counties elected more than 12 men to the legislature. Dr. Blake Wintory, assistant director at Lakeport, will give a talk about the men who represented Chicot County from 1868 to 1893 at 5:30 p.m. June 27.
For more information about the exhibit at the Lakeport Plantation, call Wintory at 870-265-6031 or email email@example.com.