The Pioneers: Early African-American Leaders in Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Freedmen, Newly Freed, and First/Second Generation, Born from 1833-1892

by Bettye J. Williams



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 1/22/2020

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 8.25x11
Page Count : 342
ISBN : 9781480871915
Format : E-Book
Dimensions : N/A
Page Count : 342
ISBN : 9781480871922

About the Book

The Pioneers: Early African-American Leaders in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, pays tribute to generations of African-American leaders who helped shape the town, Jefferson County, and the state in productive, dynamic ways.

Incorporated in 1839, a vast multitude of African-Americans from Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, and North Carolina arrived in the 1840s. While they are almost never talked about, their contributions are woven into the fabric of Pine Bluff’s history and present.

Despite “separate and unequal” rulings, they became farmers, educators, politicians, artists, journalists and more – and in this meticulously researched account, the author tells the stories of forty-five African-American achievers who deserve to be remembered.

Drawing on archival images, photos, interviews from former slaves interviewed by the Work Projects Administration during the 1930s, and accounts from descendants, the book highlights African-American achievers who survived and thrived during the most challenging of circumstances, including the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the Jim Crow South.

Discover the critical role that African-Americans played in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, as well as how they fit into the larger American narrative.

About the Author

Bettye J. Williams taught literature, grammar, and rhetoric in the Department of English, Theatre & Mass Communications at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff before retiring after forty-three years to devote herself to the public, nonprofit sector. This is the first book published for the benefit of Oak and Ivy: African American Museum and Cultural Center. All proceeds from the sale of this book will benefit the museum. She lives in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.