Title: Ethnographic Overview & Assessment: African-Americans and Arkansas Post National Memorial
The Midwest Region Cultural Anthropology program is interested in an ethnographic overview and assessment study relating to the involvement of African Americans in historic developments at Arkansas Post National Memorial (ARPO). Historic resources indicate that African Americans have been present at the post and environs since the early Historic period, but details are sparse through the Fur Trade and Territorial periods, with slightly more evidence known for the Civil War period. It is not until the post-Civil War that historic records on African Americans are more readily available. Census data indicates a significant proportion (more than half) of the local population is African American; this, and the prevalence of intergenerational continuity (for both African- and Euro-American communities) in Desha County suggest that the local African American community has significant historic connections to cultural resources at ARPO. This project will initiate a targeted ethnographic study to identify connections, assess significant gaps in the data, and develop interpretation of the African American history at Arkansas Post.