Elaine Massacre of 1919

Delta Cultural Center - Thursday, April 06, 2017

One of the worst assaults on African Americans in our country’s history will be the focus of an upcoming program sponsored by the Delta Cultural Center. Reflection and Reconciliation: The Elaine Massacre will be held on Sunday, April 23, at 2 p.m. at Beth El Heritage Hall, 406 Perry St.

One of the major riots of the “Red Summer” of 1919, the race riot in Elaine, Arkansas, was also one of the deadliest. Though exact numbers are unknown, it is estimated over 200 African Americans were killed along with five whites during the white hysteria of a pending uprising of black sharecroppers.

Presenters will be J. Chester Johnson and Sheila Walker whose ancestors were directly involved in the tragic event. Johnson’s maternal grandfather participated, and several of Walker’s family members were victims, including her great-grandmother and great uncles. Over the last several years Johnson and Walker have committed to a reconciliation of the trauma associated with the event.

The presenters will share stories and history of their respective families related to the massacre, but the journey of reconciliation between the two presenters will also be given special relevance.

This event is free and open to the public.

A reception will be held immediately following the presentation.

For more information, interested persons can call the DCC at (870)-338-4350 or toll free at (800)-358-0972 or visit the DCC online at