THE Elaine Massacre memorial
honors those who died and offers a permanent place to mourn the lives taken by the tragedy.
On the evening of September 30, 1919, at a church in Hoop Spur, three miles north of Elaine, African American sharecroppers gathered to discuss how to get a fair share of the record price for cotton that fall. Armed guards were posted outside, and two white law officers were parked in a car near the church. Gunfire erupted, the church was shot and one officer lay dead at the end of the night.
Fears of a black uprising led authorities in Helena to send armed posses to Hoop Spur, and to request the governor of Arkansas to send troops to quell the “uprising.” Over the next four days, posses, mobs from neighboring counties and federal troops murdered an estimated 100+ African Americans. An estimated 300 African Americans were also jailed and 122 were charged with first degree murder, intent to kill or a lesser charge.
The Elaine Massacre Memorial hopes to be a place of remembrance and reverence. The exact number and the names of those who died are unknown. The memorial will open September 29, 2019 to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of these tragic days.
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plan your visit
The Elaine Massacre Memorial is located at 622 Walnut Street in Helena, Arkansas. The memorial is in Court Square Park between the Phillips County Courthouse and the present Federal Building.
watch site dedication
On April 10, 2018, the memorial plans were unveiled and the site was dedicated to the Elaine Massacre Memorial. The Honorable Brian Miller spoke passionately about the significance of the memorial to help heal the community and mourn those who died during the massacre.