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Mosaic Templars Cultural Center hosts ‘Project 1927’ | News

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Mosaic Templars Cultural Center hosts ‘Project 1927’
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Mosaic Templars Cultural Center hosts ‘Project 1927’

Public program explores the lynching of John Carter

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – As part of its observance of Black History Month , Mosaic Templars Cultural Center will host  Project 1927, a poignant  presentation and discussion of the events surrounding the 1927 lynching of John Carter, at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15.

It was a tense racial climate in Little Rock on May 4, 1927 amid the murder of Floella McDonald, a young Caucasian girl, allegedly by two African American men, in the belfry of First Presbyterian Church.  These high tensions escalated when John Carter was accused of assaulting a Caucasian woman and her daughter.  An armed group found Carter, hung him from a telephone pole, then shot and dragged him through the streets of Little Rock before burning his body at the intersection of Ninth and Broadway, the heart of the city’s African American business district.

Mosaic Templars Cultural Center is partnering with Stephanie Harp and George Fulton, Jr., to present this public program that will explore the tragic history of lynching and the different ways Carter’s brutal death was reported in the news and remembered in the community.

Harp is the great-granddaughter of one of the deputy sheriffs who, according to family stories, was present at the lynching. A writer and historian, she is at work on a book about the event. Fulton, the great-grandson of John Carter, is a filmmaker working on a documentary about the lynching told from his family’s point of view. 

At the program, clips from Fulton’s documentary film will be shown, and personal stories will be shared from a panel:  the relatives of John Carter, Floella McDonald, Lonnie Dixon (the teenage boy put to death for McDonald’s murder), and a deputy sheriff present that day.  Afterward, a community conversation will be led by Dr. John Kirk, chairman of the History Department at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and Dr. Cherisse Jones-Branch, associate professor of history at Arkansas State University.

The event will take place in the auditorium of the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center located at 501 West Ninth Street in downtown Little Rock.  There is no cost to attend.

Project 1927: The Lynching of John Carter is made possible by a grant from the Arkansas Humanities Council.

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