African American firsts


Many “firsts” in the African American community have carried the lamp for Pine Bluff. The following is a list of some. See if you can guess the answer.

• He is the first African American superintendent of the Pine Bluff School District.

(Frank Anthony)

•The Neighborhood Watch Programs in Pine Bluff today have saved lives and thousands of dollars in personal property just because “My Neighbor Is On Watch and So Am I.” She launched the first Neighborhood Watch Program, on October 11, 1982.

(Goldie Bush)

•He was the first African American to become a head track coach at Pine Bluff High School in 1970.

(Andrew C. Butler)

•He is a Pine Bluff native and graduate of PBHS. He painted monumental portraits of Georgians for the 1996 Olympic.

(Kevin E. Cole)

•This artist is a former University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff art instructor. He now resides in Cincinnati, Ohio. He received the “Grand Award” in the 18th Annual Delta Art Exhibition, sponsored by the Arkansas Arts Center.

(Tarrence Corbin)

•He is a Pine Bluff native and served as chancellor at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

(Dr. Lawrence A. Davis, Jr.)

•She was a former slave and was the first black widowed woman in Pine Bluff to purchase 10 acres of land that she paid for by splitting rails and washing and ironing. This historic site is now occupied by the Jefferson Regional Medical Center.

(Lucinda Ford)

•She established the first day care center for black children in Arkansas in Pine Bluff, for which she received national recognition for this contribution to education.

(Blossom Griffith)

•He is a principal and a pastor. He is the first African American to run for mayor in Pine Bluff.

(Rev. Robert Handley)

•He is a native of Pine Bluff, and a graduate of Southeast Junior and Senior High School. He currently serves as the first black Little Rock Municipal Court Judge.

(Judge Marion Humphrey)

•Name the organization that led the effort to name the second largest park in Pine Bluff after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

(Interested Citizens for Voter Registration)

•He was the first African American to coach basketball at Pine Bluff high School in 1970.

(Johnny Jones)

•She is the founder of the Pine Bluff Citizens Boys and Girls Club and was the first PTA president of Carver Elementary School. It was under her leadership that the school’s first library was established.

(Edna (Mom) Mays)

•He won statewide recognition for playing basketball at Hall High School in Little Rock and the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. After leaving UAF, he signed with the Milwaukee Bucks. He later had a car dealership in Pine Bluff.

(Sidney Moncrief)

•She was a nurse and established the first Practical Nursing School in Arkansas, at Pine Bluff, where she trained maids to become practical nurses.

(Ida L. Moon)

•An ordained minister, she established the first convalescence home for blacks in Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

(Rev. Lula R. Toler)

•For 11 years he served as Headstart director of Pine Bluff/Jefferson County. The Headstart program located in the Chester Hynes Community Center was named in his honor.

(David C. Vaughn, Sr.)

•She taught all levels of students to learn in the classroom. Years before Special Education arrived in the classroom, she demonstrated that all children could learn. As a pioneer in the field of integration at Pine Bluff High School, many teachers looked to her leadership for a sense of direction when they became teachers in newly integrated schools.

(Lenora Davis Ward)

•She can be called “The Mother of the Pine Bluff Freedom Movements.” She kept freedom riders in her home during the struggle for Civil Rights.

(Mary White)

•She was the first lady to pastor the only black Presbyterian Church in Pine Bluff. Name the pastor and the church.

(Pastor Dorothy McKinney-Wright at Faith Presbyterian Church)

•He was the first African American to become a head football coach at Pine Bluff High School in 1970.

(Donzell Young)

•A retired political science teacher from Watson Chapel High School, she was a columnist for Arkansas State Press. On Sunday, February 23, 1997, she published, “Many Black Women Have Carried the Lamp in Pine Bluff.”

(Your guest columnist, Earlene Stennis)