News & History

12 influential leaders being honored for Black History Month

Celebration postponed until Feb. 6

By EMMA MILNER | City of Arkadelphia

The City of Arkadelphia will be honoring African Americans who are from Arkadelphia or who have made an impact on Arkadelphia in celebration of Black History Month.

In this inaugural year, 12 honorees have been selected to have their likeness displayed on banners in the downtown area. These banners will be displayed annually from February 1 to March 1, with additional honorees added each year.

The honorees were selected by a nominating committee of esteemed African American leaders in the community.

The inaugural class of Black History Month honorees includes:

Mary Nell Clay, first black female principal at Arkadelphia Public Schools

Martha Dixon, author and entrepreneur from Arkadelphia

Carolyn Green, first black graduate from Ouachita Baptist University

Maurice Horton Sr., first black graduate from Henderson State University

Sgt. James Middleton, first black police officer, first black sergeant at Arkadelphia Police Department

Terry Nelson, first NFL football player from Arkadelphia

John Edward Peake, well-known educator in Arkansas and namesake of Peake Schools

Ann Sanders, first black city board member for the City of Arkadelphia

Rev. A. William Terry, pastor and community activist during integration in Arkadelphia

Eula Thomas, first black Chamber of Commerce member in Arkadelphia

James Williams, first black mayor in Arkadelphia

Henry Wilson, Clark County NAACP president and activist in Arkadelphia

A public ceremony celebrating the honorees and their families will be held Monday, February 6, at 10
a.m. in the Town Hall Atrium.

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