Salute to Black History

From the escape of Ona “Oney” Judge from her enslaver, George Washington, on May 21, 1796, to the eloquence of Amanda Gorman, Inaugural Poet for President Joseph R. Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, we have stories to tell. The brilliance, tenacity, and resilience of African Americans have shone through during our 400-plus-year journey. Our light still shines. Click here to learn more.

Celebrate Black Achievement, Yet Remember the Challenges

Being Black in America comes with complications embedded in American history. From the first major documented slave ship arriving on the Virginia shore in 1619 to the lynching of teenagers like 14-year-old Emmett Till in 1955 Mississippi to “the talk” that Dr. Yohuru Williams said many African Americans have had to have with their own children regarding racism and police brutality in the nation, he calls home. Click here to see more.

The brave, forgotten Kansas lunch counter sit-in that helped change America

On a beautiful Saturday morning in July 1958, 19-year-old Carol Parks unexpectedly started a movement. She parked her yellow Chevrolet in downtown Wichita and walked through the revolving door of Dockum Drug Store. She took a seat at the lunch counter and ordered a Coca-Cola. She did this, she said, “as if I’d been doing it all my life.” Click here to learn more.

SPS Commerce Black History Month Celebration

To kick off our Black History Month celebration, SPS Commerce invited Founding Director of the University of St. Thomas’ Racial Justice Initiative, Dr. Yohuru Williams, back to lead an interactive educational session with our employees. Click here to learn more.

From Slavery to the White House: The Extraordinary Life of Elizabeth Keckly

This revealing narrative reflected on Elizabeth’s fascinating story, detailing her life experiences from slavery to her successful career as First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln’s dressmaker. Click here to learn more.

A Chapter In U.S. History Often Ignored: The Flight Of Runaway Slaves To Mexico

In a forgotten cemetery on the edge of Texas in the Rio Grande delta, Olga Webber-Vasques says she’s proud of her family’s legacy — even if she only just learned the full story. Turns out her great-great-grandparents, who are buried there, were agents in the little-known underground railroad that led through South Texas to Mexico during the 1800s. Click here to learn more.

Africatown Museum Construction Begins |

The official start of the first major tourism attraction connected to the 2019 discovery of the last slave ship to enter the United States kicked off Thursday, February 19, 2021, with a ceremony that underscored “God’s sense of humor.” The project that will honor the people aboard the vessel and the community they settled north of Mobile kicked off with a groundbreaking ceremony at the Robert L. Hope Recreation Center. Click here to learn more.

2021 National Returning Citizens Virtual Conference

Save the Date of April 24th for our 2021 National Returning Citizens Virtual Conference. Click below for more information. Click here to learn more.

NAFJ “From Nonviolence to No Violence”

This project is conducted by Arkansas’ lead Pen or Pencil Affiliate of the National Alliance of Faith and Justice, supported by the 400 Years of African American History Federal Commission, Pine Bluff Faith Community Coalition Ministerial Alliance, United Way of Southeast Arkansas, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Pine Bluff Police Department, and Southeast Arkansas Behavioral Healthcare, and all school districts in the city of Pine Bluff; Click here to learn more.