“Old School: Memories of the Brinkley Academy”
The Eddie Mae Herron Center and Museum is pleased to announce the exhibit, “Old School: Memories of the Brinkley Academy” will be on display now through February 8. Consisting of fourteen graphic panels, the exhibit offers a fascinating glimpse at early education and cultural history for African Americans in Arkansas’ Delta region.
Established in an era when public secondary education was routinely denied to African American youths, the Academy did its good work while society changed incrementally. It opened its doors three years before the Supreme Court’s landmark Plessy v. Ferguson decision sanctioned the doctrine of “separate but equal.” It closed a year before Linda Brown, a third grade African-American pupil, was denied the right to enroll in the school closest to her Topeka, Kansas home, leading to the Court’s 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision.
The Consolidated White River Academy was one of three African-American boarding schools located within a few miles of each other. These schools, established in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, would each close within a few months of one another in 1949-50, their mission increasingly shouldered by segregated public high schools.
The exhibit is on loan from the Arkansas Humanities Council and was originally produced by the Arkansas Secretary of State’s Office and Park Central Little Rock.
EMHC is open for visitors, Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. and on Saturday by appointment. Please call the Center at 892-4433 for more information.