Arkansas Delta Informer Staff – Aug. 21, 2022 – The “Silent No More” Multi-Media exhibit, created and led by Descendants of the Elaine Massacre of 1919 (DOEM1919), will open later this month in the Phillips County community.
This two-day exhibit opens on the anniversary of the Elaine Massacre, Friday, Sept. 30, and concludes on Saturday, Oct. 1. The exhibit will be held at the former Elaine High School from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will include a historical timeline of the Elaine Massacre, structural art, digital stories, and names of known victims and survivors.
According to DOEM1919 Founder Lisa Hicks Gilbert, visitors will also be able to see what sharecropper’s agreements with plantation owners looked like, and view copies of letters written by a soldier who was on the ground in Elaine during the massacre where estimates of several hundred African Americans were killed. Some will learn for the first time about Attorney Scipio A. Jones, and his fight to save the lives of the Elaine 12.
They also will learn of the work of fierce, anti-lynching activist, journalist and author Ida B. Wells-Barnett, who wrote first-hand accounts of the Elaine Massacre. Visitors will also be introduced to two descendants of the Elaine Massacre on opposite sides of this dark time in our history, and hear their story of friendship, reconciliation, and healing, said Hicks Gilbert.
“DOEM1919 is excited to welcome visitors to historic Elaine to tour this exhibit created and led by descendants of the victims of the Elaine Massacre. Many in Arkansas have yet to learn of this time in American history,” said Hicks Gilber. “Some of us born and raised in Elaine and the surrounding communities only learned of it as adults. It is important in this time when there are efforts to suppress history, that we work to educate about the Elaine Massacre. It is also important that we break our ancestor’s silence and strengthen our own voices as we honor and protect their stories.”
DOEM1919 invites high schools, colleges and universities to the exhibit for a day for “An Education in Arkansas History” on Sept. 30 by planning a school trip to Elaine so that students can learn about this time in American history. To register your school, please organizers at DescendantsofElaine@gmail.com, or 501-765-6331.