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Teens Have Opportunity to Look Back on Brinkley Academy's History

Brinkley Academy Exhibition

Modern day teens can see how a school in rural eastern Arkansas served the needs of African American students who received direction and inspiration for nearly six decades through an exhibit of photographs. "Old School: Remembering the Brinkley Academy" will be on display at the Central Arkansas Library System's (CALS) Level 4 Teen Center, 100 Rock Street from Monday, April 8 through Saturday, June 29.

In 1893, a consortium of Missionary Baptist congregations in eastern Arkansas pooled their resources to establish a residential secondary school for African American youth. The Consolidated White River Academy or, as it was often called, the Brinkley Academy was one of three African American boarding schools located within a few miles of each other.

Established in an era when public secondary education was routinely denied to African American youths, the Academy did its good work while society changed incrementally. It opened its doors three years before the Supreme Court's landmark Plessy v. Ferguson decision sanctioned the doctrine of "separate but equal." It closed a year before Linda Brown, a third-grade African American pupil, was denied the right to enroll in the school closest to her Topeka, Kansas home, leading to the Court's 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision.

The Butler Center for Arkansas Studies is presenting the "Old School: Remembering the Brinkley Academy" exhibition, which was produced by the Arkansas Secretary of State's Office and Park Central Little Rock.

For more information about art exhibitions at the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, click here »