Black Schools in Columbia County
The Columbia County Cultural Center ( a part of the Southwest Arkansas Community Development Corporation--SWACDC) is researching the history of African-American public education prior to integration inthe county. It is collecting oral histories and gathering records, artifacts, and memorabilia. Plans include housing a permanent exhibit in a Cultural Center in the former Columbia High School, an African-American High School in the era of segregation.
A video---"A Place We Called Our Own: A History of Black Schools in Columbia County, Arkansas"--- with interviews of former students, teachers, and staff will be available in September 1998.
For more information, contact SWACDC, located at the former Columbia High School, at 611 South Madison, P.O. Box 863, Magnolia, Arkansas 71753. Mr. Dwight Holmes is the director. He can be reached at 1-870-234-3700.
A selection of materials gathered by the Cultural Center is linked below:
Black Communities and School Districts in Columbia County, 1900-1938
A. Distribution of Negro Communities, 1900- B. Distribution of Negro School Districts, 1938 (Buffington, p. 24) 1900-1938 (Buffington, p. 26)
The video --- "A Place We Called Our Own: A History of Black Schools
in Columbia County, Arkansas" ---
McMittress was consolidated with Emerson School District in 1949 and
operated as a segregated institution
Legislation in Arkansas in 1948 required small districts to consolidate.
But black schools had been consolidating
By 1949 Walker was the only black school district left in Columbia County.
1. Columbia High School--photos and narrative
2. Hobson High School--photos
3. Fair Bank Buffington, "A Study of the Development and Decline of Certain Types of Negro Public School Administrations in Columbia County, Arkansas" (M.A. thesis, Fisk University, 1955)