Graves speaks at foundation fundraiser

Dr. John Graves, the Edgar and Marguerite Henley Professor of American History at Henderson State University, spoke Feb. 11 at the annual fundraiser of the John Cain Foundation.

The event was held at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center in Little Rock. The center is an agency of Arkansas Heritage and is the state’s first public museum celebrating the heritage and history of African Americans in Arkansas.

Cain is an African American community leader of long-standing in Little Rock and a manager of Little Rock radio station KABF. He and restauranteur Mark Abernathy launched the movement to save the historic Mosaic Templars building.

Cain and Graves are both founding members of the Mosaic Templars Building Preservation Society and have served on the society’s Board of Directors since its beginning. Graves spoke on the history of the West Ninth Street business and entertainment district.

Paper presented

On Feb. 4, Graves presented a paper at a special conference sponsored by the Arkansas Archives and the Black History Commission of the Department of Arkansas Heritage. The conference is designed to provide an in-service activity for public school teachers in Arkansas.

Graves’ presentation was entitled John Gray Lucas: Pioneer Champion of Civil Rights. The theme of the conference was “The Black Experience in Arkansas.”

Graves has taught history and political science courses at Henderson State University since 1985. He received his Ph.D. degree in history from the University of Virginia and his M.A. and B.A. degrees in history from the University of Arkansas. A native of Little Rock, his principal area of scholarly specialization has been the study of race relations in Arkansas during the latter half of the nineteenth century and the early twentieth century.