When Hurbert "Geese" Ausbie steps into a room or on a stage, electricity fills the air. The former Harlem Globetrotter seems to be larger than life as he begins his program with the sound of basketballs bouncing to an offbeat cadence. Excitement soars as school kids burst into applause. "It's Geese Ausbie" -- all 6-feet, 5-inches of him! That is the atmosphere surrounding a live appearance by Mr. Ausbie and his Drug Free Youth Program.
He holds his audience captive with trick shots, spins and long shots executed with precision timing and comical expertise. The humorous aspects, however, ...(more)
As the proud story of the Tuskegee airmen comes to light, it is only fitting that Arkansas honor one of its own distinguished African-American fliers. Retired Lieutenant Colonel Woodrow W. Crockett. The glorious path taken by this heavily decorated veteran of World War II and the Korean conflict has already culminated in his October 1992 induction into the Arkansas Aviation Hall of Fame and serves as a shining example for anyone whose dream is, figuratively or literally, to fly. Lt Col. Crockett was born in Texarkana, Arkansas. After a move to Little Rock, he graduated from Dunbar High Scho...(more)
Although she has been sharply criticized for her outspokenness as well as her stance on such sensitive issues as sex education and abortion, Dr. Joycelyn Elders, M.D., has proven a human study in courage, fortitude and tenacity. A native of Schaal, Arkansas, Dr. Elders is the oldest of eight children. Now a Pediatric Endocrinologist, she never saw a physician prior to her first year in college. At the age of 15 she received a scholarship to attend Philander Smith College in Little Rock. Upon graduation at age 18, she entered the US. Army as a first lieutenant and received training as a phys...(more)
The lives of Ethel and James Kearney have been described as truly amazing. Their story as struggling sharecroppers is one that has captured the essence of the American spirit.
The Kearneys' greatest legacy and most selfless contribution to state and county is their 18 children, who serve as mentors for youth throughout America. In fact the positive parental guidance of the Kearneys
has been used as an example for all American parents by President Bill Clinton and others. They are truly among America's great unsung heroes.
James Thomas Kearney was born June 25, 1905 in Tulsa, Oklahoma....(more)
Sandwiched between the widely publicized Metropolitan Opera debuts of Marian Anderson and Leontyne Price was the January 27, 1955 debut of Robert McFerrin. He became the first African-American opera singer to have a permanent position with the Metropolitan Opera Company. Although, Marian Anderson was the first to break the racial barrier, she sang only one opera with the famous troupe.
Mr. McFerrin is a native of Marianna, Arkansas. As one of eight children to a Baptist minister, his early years were spend in a strict religious environment
It wasn't until high school that a teacher di...(more)
Long known as the "Dean of American Negro Composers", as well as one of America's foremost composers, Dr. William Grant Still was a legend in his own lifetime.
Dr. Still, who wrote more than 150 compositions ranging from operas to arrangements of folk themes, is best known as a pioneer. He was the first African-American in the United States to have a symphonic composition performed by a major orchestra. He was the first to conduct a major symphony orchestra in the US; the first to conduct a major symphony in the south; first to conduct a white radio orchestra in New York City; first to have...(more)