Do you know where the most racist city in America is? Well it’s not in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia or Florida. It’s in Boone County, Arkansas, in a little shatt hole called Harrison. Now I usually don’t mimic something the president says, but in this case it is totally appropriate. As a matter of fact Harrison is a couple of rungs below shatt hole, but like I always say.. let’s keep it classy. So let’s get a little background on Arkansas before we get to Harrison. In 1836 Arkansas was admitted to the United States as the 25th state and 13th slaves state. When the Gulf States seceded in 1861, Arkansas voted to stay in the Union only opting to join the Confederacy after Lincoln requested them to send troops to help put down the attack on Fort Sumter. The attack is depicted in the film “Glory” starring Denzel Washington. He won an Academy Award for best supporting actor playing the role of Private Trip, a runaway slave that join the 54th Massachusetts regiment. Who could forget one of the most powerfulest cinematic scenes in black motion picture history, where Trip is flogged for looking for boots to wear.
Whew.. that’s the scene I think about when I think about Glory… anywho…
Arkansas fought on the side of the Confederacy and was particularly vulnerable to constant attacks because of its responsibility in maintaining the security of the nearby Mississippi River. The river was vital to Confederate supply lines. Before the Civil War the Mississippi and Ohio rivers were slave traders main route for transporting slaves to the interior continental United States. The other route being sailing around Florida to New Orleans, then up the Mississippi. Ever heard of the saying, ” be sold down the river?” Northern slave owners would threaten their slaves with being sold down the river in order to keep them in line. Slavery was different in the North than in the South. The North had seasonal weather in which during the winter slaves were idle… but still had to clothed and fed. In the South it was sunup to sundown slavery all year around. Slave owner: “nigg@r didn’t I tell you to clean up that horse shatt.. don’t make me sell you down that damn river!!” Yeah it was kinda tough… Numerous battles were fought in Arkansas during the war, including the Battle of Wilson’s Creek, the Battle of Cane Hill, the Battle of Pea Ridge, and the Battle of Prairie Grove. Wilson’s Creek was a bloodbath with over 2500 combined casualties. It was actually fought in Missouri but Arkansas troops played a significant roll. After the war Arkansas was restored to the Union in June 1868… after the Legislature accepted the 14th Amendment. It was the 24th state to ratify the amendment out of 28. They was still a little bit salty after that azz whoopin, but not as salty as South Carolina which was the last state to ratify the 14th Amendment. They were also the first state to secede from the Union and they paid a dear price for it. You ever heard of the slogan, ” burn baby burn!!” The must have gotten the idea from Bill Sherman.. there wasn’t a stick of grass left in Columbia when the Union army left. The only reason they didn’t burn down the bathroom was cause they peed in it.
“Many of the Yankees got drunk before starting the rampage. A drunken soldier with a musket in one hand and a match in the other is not a pleasant visitor to have about the house on a dark, windy night.” – Union General Henry Slocum – February 17, 1865.
I told you they had to pee… Now back to Arkansas.. After the Union forces took Little Rock, the state capitol, the ragtag confederate army who survived resorted to guerilla warfare. In the general population sympathy for the Confederate cause waned because the confederate government implemented new policies like the draft, higher taxes and martial law. Yeah they was all gunho when the war started.. until they realized the wealthy men of age did not have to fight, the sons of the wealthy men did not have to fight and if anybody said anything about it, they would just give them a couple of negroes to take their place. All that crap you see on TV and in the movies about the valiant southern gentleman laying down his life for the southern way of life is pure @!!#$hi* Ain’t no way they was willing to get their azz shot off in some muddy field by a stranger over some negro. What about the blacks you hear about fighting on the Confederate side? They better because if they didn’t their families still on the plantation would pay for it. History is full of misinterpretations designed to shine the confederacy in a better light. Let’s fast forward to 1869. It was in 1869 that Boone County was founded. By 1876 the city of Harrison had been platted and made the county seat. Platted means the streets were formally laid out. Now I don’t know about any other bonafide racist, but if I was a bonafide, confederate flag waving, nigg@ hating, card carrying, hard Klux racist of the 1st degree, than I would have a hankering to go out and shoot my gun in the air and yell my rebel yell.. Yahoo!! Yahoo!! Yahoo!! Why? Because I just found out that Harrison is named after Marcus LaRue Harrison, (pictured above) a blue belly usurping Union officer who surveyed and platted the town… Yahoo!! Yahoo!!
“Harrison is such a loving town. It always feels like home. Never fails to make you feel like a family. It has many attractions that can fit to everyone’s wants and needs.” Love this place – Niche Review
Anyway… after the Reconstruction was all but abandoned after Lincoln’s death and the Northern states had exacted their revenge for the wholesale slaughter of a generation of America’s young men, only then was the South allowed to take its revenge out on the only people they could… the newly freed Black Americans. By the turn of the 20th century the South had enacted laws such as the Black Codes and Jim Crow to bound African Americans to a new reality and bondage. One of the places they started their shatt was in Harrison in 1901 when the St. Louis and North Arkansas Railroad was built. It ran through Harrison, which had a population of around fifthteen hundred and a black population of of one hundred fifteen. The people saw visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads. Unfortunately the railway went bankrupt in 1905. Now fifteen miles north of Harrison, another railway had been built in Omaha, Arkansas as a companion line. It failed when the St. Louis and North Arkansas line failed, leaving many more unemployed, both black and white. Some of these workers in Omaha started moving into Harrison. Why they would move from one shatt hole to another is beyond me, but they did. Not only did they take their belongings but they also took their attitudes. In this time period blacks who worked for the railroad were highly paid comparatively. So they weren’t used to… how did the author put it.. deference. In other words the blacks weren’t afraid to say “$#@!! please!!” Of course this made for a hot mess. I mean thirty five years ago y’all was eating chicken gizzards and singing mammy on my front porch. The white folks was hot about it.
“Got called a n***er twice while driving through on our way from Little Rock to Springfield. The crime rate in this city is so high, we were concerned with being assaulted when refueling our car. Please stay out of this crazy town.” – Niche Review
On October 2, 1905, the whites got their chance. Two days earlier two black men had been accused of breaking into Dr. John Johnson’s home. A white mob stormed the jail and took the two men. They also took all the other black men in jail and brought them outside of town. Once outside of town the men were beaten and told never to return. But it didn’t stop there. The mob then headed for the black section of town and burned down houses and shot out windows. Afterwards they ordered all of the blacks to leave town by nightfall. About thirty did. In the following days the ones who stayed were attacked and harassed. About a week after the initial attack on the black community, J. E. Hibdon took it to the next level, when he shot and killed black railroad worker George Richards at the Omaha railroad camp. Now not everybody was happy with the mob attacks. Although it was a forgone conclusion that the attacks were probably sanctioned by the local government.. meaning that the police stood idly by while folks were being lynched, Judge John Rogers and district attorney James Barnes impaneled a grand jury to probe the attacks. Now for the sake of historical accuracy, the grand jury panel had already been scheduled to meet before the mob attacks. Anywho, the case went nowhere fast on account that many of the black witnesses had left town and the whites who had knowledge of the perpetrators were reluctant to rat out their fellow citizens… especially since the perpetrators were burning houses, kicking azzes and telling people to leave by the time the sun goes down. nope wouldn’t be a hard choice for me… ” No sir… I didn’t see nuttin..”
“Harrison is a nice quiet town in North Arkansas. The people here are friendly and easy-going. It has a wonderful small town atmosphere, which is perfect for a family.”- Niche Review
Now hard as it is to believe, even after all of that, some black folks still remained in Harrison. Then they dropped the bomb.. you know the one.. On January 28, 1909, Charles Stinnett was charged with raping a white woman… Now we all know that’s a damn lie! After the mob attacks of 1905, ain’t no black man who got one would be caught within a 100 yards of a white women in Harrison “I Wish a Nigg@ Would” Arkansas. After the testimony of Stinnett and Emma Lovett, the women he was accused of raping was completed, the jury deliberated. It took them four hours to find Stinnett guilty. He was sentenced to death by hanging with the long rope. Okay I don’t know if it was the long rope… but it took them four hours to find you guilty and sentence you. That’s a long rope move… A short rope move is when the judge comes into the courtroom, the bailiff says all stand, the judge looks at the jury and says “guilty,” they take you out back to the gallows and somebody gives them a belt… Shortly after the trial Lovett became gravely ill. After hearing about Lovett becoming ill, a mob started heading for the jail. The sheriff transported Stinnett out of the county to Marshall, Arkansas, but the mob still hung around. That night the rest of the blacks folks left Harrison, fearing a reprisal similar to the one that happened in 1905. Only one black person remained in Harrison. Her name was Alecta Caledonia Melvina Smith, also known by the townspeople as “Aunt Vine.” There is no record on why Smith was allowed to stay or why she wanted to stay. As for the rest of the black people, their property was quickly declared forfeited.
“Extremely racist place, be careful even thinking about stopping in this town, they have a KKK clan so if you’re black you might “disappear” and there is a lot of police officers so be very careful, if you care about your life.” – Niche Review
In the early 70’s Klux leader Thomas Robb moved into Zinc Arkansas. Now Zinc is a suburb of Harrison.. sort of like Rosslyn Va is a suburb of Washington. His presence cast a long racist shadow over the immediate area. Pastor of the Christian Revival Center in Azzhole … I mean Zinc Arkansas, he espouses racism and antisemitism. Robb took over the post of Grand Bizarre, or whatever from David Duke in 1979 or somewhere abouts. Duke came to national prominence when he ran for and won a seat on the Louisiana House of Representatives. Lead by George Bush, Duke was defeated after being denounced by national and state republican leaders. In the latter parts of his career during the 1990’s Duke was accused of and convicted of defrauding his political supporters by pretending to be in dire financial straits and soliciting money for basic necessities. The $##@!! was driving around in a Cadillac and begging in $1000 suits… well he might as well have been. Anywho, Duke pleaded guilty to felony fraud and subsequently served a 15-month sentence at Federal Correctional Institution, Big Spring in Texas… where the black men grow 15 ft tall.
“I like harrison because it is a small town, little violence, a good school, and plenty of jobs. It is family friendly and not a lot going on at night. The police are effective and efficient.”- Niche Review
Billboard In Harrison Arkansas
Now as a black man, when someone tells me the popo are effective and efficient, I usually haul ass in the opposite direction… So as I said earlier in 1900 the population of Harrison was 1500 whites and 115 blacks. Less than 10 years later after Stinnett was convicted of raping a white women, the black population went to zero. Now something I didn’t mention was that not only did the racist chase the blacks from Harrison, but their racist campaign enveloped the whole area. So I don’t have to tell you that there are probably 5 negros in Harrison and that the city is 98 percent white with a population of about 12,000. But did you know that Harrison is in Boone County and that out of a population of 34,000 there are less than 40 African Americans in the whole county!! “Yahoo!! Yahoo!!” During one celebration of Black History Month the only people who showed up were the Klan. “This year the city hosted a nonviolence youth summit around the anniversary of the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Dozens of high school students — black, white and Latino — were bused into Harrison from across the state for the event, including the symbolic burial of racism in a grave near City Hall.“
So that’s the story of Harrison. But I want to leave you with a video. It has garnered more that 1.2M hits. It’s’ about a man who stood in the middle of Harrison with a Black Live Matter sign. I’m sure he had to leave before dark.. ladies and gentlemen.. Welcome to Harrison Arkansas.
Reprint Hill1News 2020