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Arsnick
The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in Arkansas
Edited by Jennifer Jensen Wallach and John A. Kirk

A comprehensive overview of a significant but previously neglected episode in civil rights history

UALR Kicks Off Black History Month (John Kirk interviewed)

"Provocative and accessible, ARSNICK offers unprecedented insight and new topics previously missing from civil rights history...a compelling read."
Journal of African American History, Spring 2013

"Provides another piece of the puzzle as we seek a fuller understanding of the civil rights movement beyond Birmingham, Selma, Atlanta, and all the other places that have dominated movement literature for decades."
—Cynthia Griggs Fleming, The Journal of Southern History, February 2013

“John Kirk and Jennifer Jensen Wallach come along and show us that Arkansas SNCC is a veritable gold-mine of historical evidence. It’s a humbling and wonderful part of the scholarly process to be taken to task by others who find new approaches and new sources. In this case, Wallach and Kirk note that the stories coming out of ‘ARSNICK,’ or the Arkansas branch of SNCC, significantly challenge the ‘master narrative’ of the organization. I would add that the evidence they uncover has the potential to challenge the master narrative of the civil rights movement as a whole."
—Wesley Hogan in Arkansas Review

"The battle to desegregate Central High School in Little Rock is widely recognized as one of the seminal moments in US history. But aside from this incident, historians have largely ignored the struggle for civil rights in Arkansas. This collection of essays, memoirs, and documents seeks to fill this gap. ... Indeed, in the coming years, these sources should provide a springboard for much-needed additional scholarship on these very subjects."
—Choice, Dec. 2011

"Wallach and Kirk’s volume is an excellent starting point for understanding SNCC’s statewide campaigns."
H-Net Reviews, January 2012

The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) arrived in Arkansas in October 1962 at the request of the Arkansas Council on Human Relations, the state affiliate of the Southern Regional Council.
SNCC efforts began with Bill Hansen, a young white Ohioan—already a veteran of the civil rights movement—who traveled to Little Rock in the early sixties to help stimulate student sit-in movements promoting desegregation. Thanks in large part to SNCC’s bold initiatives, most of Little Rock’s public and private facilities were desegregated by 1963, and in the years that followed many more SNCC volunteers rushed to the state to set up projects across the Arkansas Delta to help empower local people to take a stand against racial discrimination.
In the five short years before it disbanded, SNCC’s Arkansas Project played a pivotal part in transforming the state, yet this fascinating branch of the national organization has barely garnered a footnote in the history of the civil rights movement. This collection serves as a corrective by bringing articles on SNCC’s activities in Arkansas together for the first time, by providing powerful firsthand testimonies, and by collecting key historical documents from SNCC’s role in the region’s emergence from the slough of southern injustice.

Jennifer Jensen Wallach is assistant professor of history at the University of North Texas and the author of Closer to the Truth Than Any Fact: Memoir, Memory, and Jim Crow and Richard Wright: From Black Boy to World Citizen.

John A. Kirk is chair and Donaghey Professor of History at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and the author or editor of five books, including An Epitaph for Little Rock: A Fiftieth Anniversary Retrospective on the Central High Crisis and Beyond Little Rock: The Origins and Legacies of the Central High Crisis (The University of Arkansas Press).

 

June
6 x 9, 302 pages, 31 photographs, index
$24.95 (s) paper
ISBN 978-1-55728-966-7
$65.00 (s) library cloth edition
ISBN 978-1-55728-968-1