Black History Commission of Arkansas

Who are we?

The Black History Commission of Arkansas (BHCA), created by Act 1233 of 1991, is composed of seven (7) persons appointed by the Governor with the approval of the Senate. Meetings are held quarterly. The mission of the Black History Commission of Arkansas is to collect materials pertaining to African American history for the Arkansas History Commission; to encourage research in the state's African American history; and to cooperate with the Arkansas Department of Education to develop materials that support the teaching of African American history in our public schools.

What materials do we seek?

The Commission is interested in letters, diaries, journals, business records, photographs, church and organizational records, yearbooks, personal memoirs, and anything else of a documentary nature related to African American history in Arkansas. If you have such materials to donate or lend for copying, please contact Tatyana Oyinloye, African American History Program Coordinator, at 501.682.6892, or at

The Curtis H. Sykes Memorial Grant Program

The Curtis H. Sykes Memorial Grant Program offers grants to fund projects related to African American history in Arkansas, and is currently accepting applications. Potential applicants should note that the deadline for submitting applications to be considered during the next funding cycle is 4:30 p.m. on Friday, January 2nd, 2015.

Resources from the Arkansas History Commission

The Arkansas History Commission and the Black History Commission of Arkansas have collected numerous materials relating to the history of black Arkansans.  Guides to our African-American newspapers, school yearbooks, manuscripts collections, funeral homes and cemetery records, which are all available in our research room, as well as our gallery of 19th-century African American Arkansas Legislators and a link to resources and information on the Little Rock Central High School integration crisis, can be found below.

Jeffrey Hawkins, Little Rock community leader and guiding force with the East End Civil League, was a regular rider of Central Arkansas Transit buses for 52 years in Little Rock. (PS15-10)

Resources for Educators