March 2, 2017

Reflection and Reconciliation: The Elaine Race Massacre – Delta Cultural Center, Arkansas, April 23

J. Chester Johnson returned to the site of the 1919 Elaine Race Massacre, one of the deadliest assaults on African-Americans in our country’s history. Mr. Johnson has written articles and other pieces on the event and has presented on the subject in various venues, but this time, he discussed the event and its ramifications in Phillips County, Arkansas, where the Massacre actually occurred. J. Chester Johnson, whose maternal grandfather participated, was joined in the presentation by Sheila Walker, whose family members, including her great-grandmother and great uncles, were among the victims. Since Sheila and Chester had antecedents representing the two sides of the conflagration, they have, over the last several years, committed to a reconciliation of the inter-racial and generational trauma that has been associated with the event. Much in the presentations recited the stories and history in each of their respective families related to the Massacre, but the journey of reconciliation between Sheila and Chester was also given special relevance. A reception was held immediately following the presentation at Beth El Heritage Hall, located at the corner of Perry and Pecan, Helena, Arkansas.

Video Courtesy of Delta Cultural Center.


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