Judith Kilpatrick encountered a common but sticky problem while writing a new biography of Arkansas civil rights activist Wiley Branton (see review, page 24). That is, what to call members of the ethnic group to which Branton belonged? Many today use “African American.” Many don't. Kilpatrick learned that Branton's brothers reject “African American”; they prefer “black.” And “Negro” was the term that was used during much of Branton's career. In the end, Kilpatrick used “black” and “African American” almost interchangeably, sometimes guided by context.
Kilpatrick's own heritage gives her an appreciation of the issue. “My family says ‘Indian.' Some people use ‘Native American' or other terms. ‘Native American' just feels strange and very formal to me.”
Kilpatrick is a professor and associate dean at the University of Arkansas School of Law in Fayetteville. Branton was the fifth black to be admitted to the law school and the third to graduate, in 1953. Today, the dean is a black woman, Cyndi Nance.
Kilpatrick will give a presentation about Branton and his work at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10, in the E.J. Ball Courtroom at the law school. She'll sign books afterward.
Tired of seeing red
UCA president Lu Hardin wants Conway business folk to bleed Razorback red in private and keep their “Sooies!” to a whisper.
Spurred on by seeing bank employees in Conway wearing Razorback T-shirts the Friday before an away UCA football game, and seeing a coffee shop with a “We love the Razorbacks” sign in the window, Hardin wrote a letter last week to members of the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce asking them to leave their Razorback red at home during football season in favor of UCA Bear purple.
Support the hand that feeds you was the gist of his argument. “Many businesses would not exist, or their revenue would be down more than 50 percent if UCA were not in the city,” he wrote. “... A Razorback fan might stop for a $5 hamburger and fries, but it won't approach the $150 million that helps keep the pulse of Conway alive and thriving.
“In the fall, you can pull for the Razorbacks, but remember that UCA is our home team and the economic engine that helps drive Conway. During basketball season, I encourage businesses to wear not only UCA shirts but Hendrix as well, as Hendrix is also a key part of our economy and culture.”
The problem with young whippersnappers is that they manage to show up old fogies. Take for example Brady Holzhauer, 17, of Gillett. He and a group of his classmates have taken on the task of reporting and publishing the town's weekly newspaper, The Gillett Post. Early printings of the paper have been running four broadsheet-sized pages, with a circulation of 250. The paper's printed on the press at the Stuttgart Daily Leader.
Holzhauer said he originally approached Gillett High School — where he is a senior — with the idea of sponsoring a town newspaper. After learning that school officials would have veto power over any article deemed too negative — which pretty much kills around three quarters of the stories we've ever read or reported — Holzhauer and the Post staff decided to go it alone, selling ads to pay for printing.
In recent issues — which sell for 25 cents down at the Gillett Flash Market — they've managed to pack a lot into a relatively small space, including an interview with the mayor on the future of Gillett, political cartoons, an editorial page, two opinion columns, a sports and outdoors section, and a “Stories from Home” column featuring the recollections of Gillette old-timers. Holzhauer plays basketball for Gillett High, participates in Quiz Bowl and regularly attends Razorback home games. He'll enroll at the University of Arkansas next fall, when he hopes to hand the Post off to a successor — maybe even some adults.