PHILLIPS COUNTY, Ark. (KNWA) — September marks 100 years since one of the largest racial mass killings in United States history in Phillips County, Arkansas.
During the Elaine Race Riot of 1919, sharecroppers gathered at a local church on September 30, attending a progressive farmers and union meeting in Hoop Spur, outside of Elaine.
A group of armed white men later arrived, killing an estimated 237 black citizens.
On Thursday, the Pryor Center at the University of Arkansas presented a lecture series titled ‘A Symposium on the Elaine Massacre.’
Brian Miller, whose family was murdered during the massacre, spoke during the lecture about how far society has advanced since 1919.
“We should talk about these events to show how far we’ve come,” said Miller. “Now some people want to stay in the past and still argue about old problems and all the atrocities of the past.”
A monument commemorating the lives lost is set to be unveiled in Helena on Sunday.