Next Evenings with History lecture to explore new research in Elaine Massacre

Dr. Brian Mitchell

The first Evenings with History lecture series discussion of the new year will cover new research discovered about the Elaine Massacre. 

Dr. Brian Mitchell, professor of history at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, will present “When The Depths Don’t Give Up Their Dead: Exploring New Primary Sources about the Elaine Race Massacre,” at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 5, at Historic Arkansas Museum, 200 E. Third St. in Little Rock. Refreshments will be served at 7 p.m.

The Elaine Massacre is remembered as one of the deadliest racial conflicts in the country. In September 1919, representatives of the Progressive Farmers and Household Union of America met with approximately 100 African-American farmers at a church to discuss unionizing. When a group of white men interrupted the meeting, two white men were shot. The sheriff organized a posse. A mob of an estimated 500 to 1,000 white people stormed through Phillips County, killing black men, women, and children on sight.

This talk examines newly discovered primary sources and discusses how these new sources are reshaping the existing narrative.

“What is known as the Elaine Massacre began on Sept. 30, 1919, and continued until the arrival of federal troops in Phillips County on Oct. 2. In those days several hundred African Americans were murdered,” Mitchell said. “Subsequent trials of black workers saw the conviction of many others on charges from murder to night riding.”

The Evenings with History series, sponsored by the University History Institute, features presentations by UA Little Rock faculty members sharing their current research. Admission to the series is by subscription to the University History Institute, although visitors to individual talks are welcome to attend for free. UA Little Rock students may attend free of charge.

For more information, contact Dr. Jess Porter, chair of the UA Little Rock Department of History, at or 501-569-3236.

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