Join Author Jason Irby and Friends at “Resources and Wellness” Fair; Help Hope, Healing on Saturday, August 7, 2021 beginning 8:00 a.m. Little Rock River Market, 400 Clinton Avenue Little Rock, Arkansas 72201.
People are reaching out for help and assistance in so many areas. This Forum is designated to direct leadership organizations and individuals to others who can share needed information and resources with those in their communities, neighborhoods, and congregations. This “Resources and Wellness Fair” is intended to share Help, Hope, Healing as well as purpose and inform leadership about available assistance in areas of need.
Presenters will give detailed presentations followed by information and demonstrations at their kiosks. Faith based, civic, municipal, charitable, human services organizations, and or individuals are all invited to participate. Event is free and open to the public. Presenters will share and provide information, resources, encouragement, and methods used by fellow organizations and individuals. Presenter will also direct organizations and individuals to other organizations and people capable of assisting them in their efforts to provide assistance.
To provide help, hope, and healing for those in various needs which may include health and wellness (mental illness, impairments), sustainability (finances, food, lifestyle), development ( personal, community, economics, education), and overall humanity issues.
Date August 07, 2021 8:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m.
400 Clinton Avenue Little Rock River Market Little Rock, Arkansas 72201
During my lifetime, I have heard of disaster after disaster around the world where territories, areas, and regions have needed assistance and rebuilding. Never before have I witnessed the whole of the world pleading for help to fight and overcome a crippling and deadly situations of today. For the most part, those who have pleaded for medical, financial, and other supports have been assisted. For others, help is on the way. Help is near.
Help. To get those in need the medical, financial, and other assistance that they and their loved ones may need.
Hope. To believe that needs or desires are possible. We believe that we can, we will, we shall.
Healing. I ask. Will we be prepared for healing?Will we be ready for the growth that takes place after healing? The rebuilding, the rehabilitation, the reconciliation that comes after an unfortunate situation. Will we be prepared to not fall back into the same issues that caused our challenges? Will we be ready to provide assistance to others as they journey through the challenges in which we have just proceeded through and overcome?
As we promote the Help, Hope, and Healing of our loved ones and communities, please view services of organizations and individuals below and at www.jasonirby.wordpress.com that may assist you in meeting your needs and achieving your goals.
“We pray for the opportunity to continually present Help, Hope, Healing forums in the future as a safe and healthy atmosphere will allow it,” Irby said.
Originally powered by the initiative for QMH, in truth and spirit.
This year we will celebrate the Sixth Annual Arkansas Heritage Celebration Of Black History Month by conducting recorded presentations and interviews to be broadcast at a later date. The recordings will not be open to the public in order to comply with Covid protocols. We will post the date in which viewers can begin to enjoy presentations and interviews.
The 2021 Legend Among Us presentations will include two dynamic individuals who have contributed great services and achievements to our community, state, and nation. We congratulate Crystal Young-Haskins and Otis D. Kirkland.
Crystal is the first Black female to be assigned as assistant chief of the Little Rock Police Department.
Otis has served the community as a photographer and philanthropist for over 50 years. Particularly the Black community.
“Join me in congratulating and supporting these 2021 recognized Legend Among Us recipients. This year will be very different because there will not be an auditorium of warm smiles, clapping hands or cheering, nor the the atmosphere of sharing and greetings by our traditional vendors and those making contributory presentations. We gladly celebrate and present the 2021 Arkansas Heritage Celebration of Black History Month. We anticipate and look forward to once again engaging and entertaining a live audience. In the meantime, we also offer condolences to those who have lost loved ones due to the world wide pandemic which has affected our activities, families, and livelihoods. This in itself is a moment in history that we shall overcome. Honor and blessings to you all. Strength and support to all essential workers,” Irby stated.
ABOUT THE RECIPIENTS
Crystal Young-Haskins is a native of Central Arkansas and a 1999 graduate of North Pulaski High School. She spent the vast majority of her early years with family in the communities of Kerr, McAlmont, and Jacksonville. She experienced the love of growing up in a blended family of seven children where hard work and spirituality were always the standard. She is the mother of two amazing young men and a member of New Hope Baptist Church in North Little Rock. Young-Haskins is a 15 year veteran of the Little Rock Police Department. She began her law enforcement career with the department in 2006 and has since been promoted through the ranks to Assistant Chief of Police serving as Bureau Commander for Field Services Bureau. She became the first Black female in the department’s history to hold the rank of assistant chief of police and has made significant strides to champion women in law enforcement throughout the State of Arkansas. Young-Haskins has lead in various commander capacities in patrol, administration, and investigations for the past seven years. She successfully led several units awarded with Unit Commendations and the coveted Overall Crime Reduction Award in 2019 for performance. She holds a Master of Education in Adult Education and Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with an emphasis on Law Enforcement Administration from Park University (Parkville, MO). She is a graduate of the 2014 International Association of Chiefs of Police Women’s Leadership Institute and the 265th Session FBI National Academy in Quantico, VA where she earned a Graduate Certificate in Law Enforcement Leadership from the University of Virginia (2016). She has also obtained several law enforcement certifications in Instructor Development, Victim Advocacy, and Forensic Interviewing. She is a member of the International Association of Chief of Police, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives and FBI National Academy Alumni Association. Young-Haskins was selected as a recipient of the 2020 International Association of Chief of Police 40 Under 40 Award. She is currently enrolled in the Arkansas Certified Public Manager Program at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
Otis D. Kirkland was born in 1945 in Sherrill, AR. He is the son of sharecropper parents and the third of 14 siblings. He attended public school in Altheimer, AR and graduated in 1963. Seeking a better life and upon advice from his mother, he left home immediately following graduation and moved to Little Rock, AR where he got his first job which paid $32 a day. In May 1966, he was drafted into the U.S. Army and stationed in Mannheim, Germany. It was during his stint in the Army that he received his training as a photographer. In 1968, he received an honorable discharge from the Army and returned to Little Rock, where with the money he had saved and the assistance of three mentors — Dr. Jerry Jewel, Dr. Worthy Springer, and Dr. M.A. Jackson —he opened his first photography studio in the Central Building on West 9th Street. He later moved to the Village Square and began networking with other organizations, including the Economic Opportunity Agency, G.W. Carver YMCA, the Little Rock School District, the Arkansas Beauticians Association, and Baptist, Shorter and Philander Smith Colleges, as well as Anderson Taekwondo Studios. During the past 51 years as a photographer, Mr. Kirkland has covered weddings, graduations, family reunions, parades, family and personal portraits and school photo IDs. In 1991, because he never had a photo of himself with his mother or father, he sponsored free photos of children with their parents on Easter, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Kirkland has become a well-known photographer and philanthropist in the Little Rock area, and across the state. His work as a photographer has also taken him to other states, including Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Georgia, Florida, Oklahoma, Missouri, Michigan and California. He has supported the Little Rock community through his work and involvement in local politics. He was elected and served as Pulaski County Justice of the Peace, District 7 from 1986 to1990. He also ran for Arkansas Lt. Governor in 1990. Kirkland was a co-founder of “Stop the Violence” and a C.O.P.E. board member. He was also a supporter of the Martin Luther King Jr. Commission and sponsored Black Santa in Little Rock for several years. In September 2000, Kirkland was licensed and ordained as a Bishop in Pulaski County. He is also an accomplished cook, having established and manned food trucks at Dunbar Junior High School and throughout the city. As part of his community service efforts, he has appeared on local television and radio programs, hosting a program entitled, “Tell It Like It Is.” Kirkland has received over 50 awards for his community service and selfless philanthropy. He is the father of seven children and continues to reside in Little Rock.
This little Oak tree stands vivid, vibrant, and brilliant among other vegetation that has transformed due to seasonal changes. It almost stands symbolic as it stands as many people have had to stand this year. 2020 will go down in history as an unforgettable year. The world and the generations witnessed the undesirable situations bought by a world wide pandemic. Loss of life, jobs, belongings, and wellbeing loomed over tens of thousands. Affected millions. Despite the undesirable situations, many powered through and history will record victorious situations as well. All loss was not due to death or destruction. Some loss was due to the natural process of passing seasons. The scriptures say that there is a time and season for everything. Many seasons fulfilled their purposes. As the saying goes by Howard Osterkamp, “all gave some, some gave all.” I am so thankful for the activities and situations that God allowed me to participate and witness in 2020. I am so thankful for the people that God placed In my path and journey to bring about God’s will and results. In all things I give thanks. Some were as smooth sailing while other were turbulent tribulations to overcome. The mountain top was reached and the valley bottom was scrapped. Nevertheless, the journey continues. The path is laid out and travel is not an option. As previous years have been incredible, 2020 was none the lessor. Once again, incredible took place in my life. Particular attention has been given this year to the matters of life and death, celebration and sorrow, and wellbeing and wonder. This year of loss and gain. This has been a year of sharing the most intimate of. This has been a year of rescuing life. This has been a year of witnessing life taken to sustain another. Many expectations were postponed, but many unexpected goals were attained. Concerning the loss or gain. To lose family or friends whether due to Covid or not. To lose belongings or wellbeing whether due to Covid or not. To overcome the order of things as the seasons are observed. To admit that God is in control. A great milestone was reached this 2020. The 5th annual Arkansas Heritage Celebration of Black History Month was so awesome and momentarily. A moment in time. It was like a pre Covid jubilation. Everyone was so happy and festive. The 2020 Legend Among Us celebration was so awesome as former legends joined the 2020 inductees. Women’s history month observance was canceled due to the precautions of Covid 19. If Those Who Are Called, Leadership Conference was canceled due to Covid 19 precautions.A Balloon Release was conducted to observe National Domestic Violence Month.Announcement and an groundbreaking ceremony was held to commemorate the 3rd Annual Black Indian and Native American Heritage Month Fair. The McAlmont Community Park will place a Trail of Tears Interpretive Panel within the park area.The farm continues to thrive. A vast variety of birds were sighted this year. The baby trees are really coming into their own. The vegetation is doing as nature does to create a habit for the native and migrating animals. “Despite the incredible loss of life other realities. The incredible livelihood and will to pushing forward has prevailed. 2020 has been incredible,” says Irby.
Join Author Jason Irby and Friends for for the 3rd annual Black Indian and Native American Heritage Fair. The 3rd annual Black Indian and Native American Heritage Month Fair will be held on Saturday November 21st at the G T Ashley McAlmont Community Park 5700 Highway 161 in the community of McAlmont, North Little Rock, Arkansas 72117
We will conduct an announcement and groundbreaking ceremony for the placement of a Trail of Tears IInterpretative Panel within the McAlmont Community Park.
The Trail of Tears (Bell Route) is noted part of Arkansas State Highway 161 which was traveled between Jacksonville and Little Rock. Groups of Choctaws, Muscogees (Creeks), and Chickasaws traveled the route before the Cherokees directed by John Bell. Native American tribes of the Southeastern United States were removed from their homeland to now Oklahoma in the 1830’s and passed through areas of Central Arkansas which included the community now know as McAlmont.
To commemorate it’s 3rd annual acknowledgement of the relationship among people of African descent and Native Americans, the Black Indian and Native American Heritage Month Fair will conduct the groundbreaking activities for the placement of the Interpretative Panel.
Author Jason Irby spearheaded the Black Indian and Native American Heritage Month Fair in Spring 2018. Completion of its establishment was founded by Author Jason Irby and Dr Daniel Littlefield of the Sequoyah National Research Center in November of 2018.
Irby spearheaded the event because the relationship among people of African descent and Native Americans is vast and sometimes complex. Whether the relationship was of friendship, family ties , or slave holding, this story is a story within American history. This story is America’s history.
Event will begin at 10am Saturday November 21st at the G T Ashley McAlmont Park 5700 Highway 161 McAlmont Community, North Little Rock, Arkansas 72117
Irby and Littlefield have partnered with the Community Voices Of McAlmont and Black History Commission of Arkansas. Ty Wilson of Cherokees for Black Indians History and Preservation will also participate.
This project is part of the mission stated by the Arkansas Chapter of the National Trail of Tears Association to share awareness about aspects surrounding the forced removal of Native Americans from their homeland particularly concerning the Five Civilized Tribes (Cherokee, Choctaw, Creek, Chickasaw, and Seminole)
You may also visit Websites below for further research.
Sequoyah National Research Center
Arkansas Trail of Tears Association
Black History Commission of Arkansas
Cherokees for Black Indian History and Preservation
McAlmont on the Trail of Tears
In 1827, Samson Gray was contracted to build fifteen miles of road from Little Rock to the Bayou of the Two Prairies, where it connected with the road from Memphis by way of Mouth of Cache (now Clarendon). He also improved other sections of the road and constructed bridges across the Bayou of the Two Prairies and Bayou Meto. By the end of the year, the Military Road from Crittenden’s Ferry in North Little Rock to Fort Smith was nearly complete, providing an east-west road system across Arkansas Territory. Due to its location on the Memphis to Little Rock Road, McAlmont was a witness site in the story of Indian removal along the road. After the passage of the Indian Removal Act in 1830, contingents of Choctaws, Muscogees (Creeks), Chickasaws, Cherokees and their slaves passed through the site.
Choctaws at McAlmont
The 1830 Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek stipulated that the Choctaws relocate from their homelands in Mississippi to Indian Territory west of Arkansas. The tribe began removing in 1831, some traveling the Memphis to Little Rock Road and others the old Post Road from Arkansas Post to Cadron.
The first Choctaws to reach McAlmont were the 18 or 20 who were driving a herd of about 100 horses. Ponies were significant in Choctaw culture and were a vital part of the Choctaw economy, and the Choctaws were determined to get as many of their animals to the West as possible. They had crossed the Mississippi at Memphis, pushed through the swamps of eastern Arkansas on the Military Road, and reached McAlmont about December 18, 1831.
The first major groups of Choctaws to pass McAlmont had traveled by steamboat to Arkansas Post in late November 1831. Stranded there for some time in bitterly cold weather, most traveled overland from the Post on the Post Road to its juncture with the Military Road at what is now Carlisle and then traveled the Military Road toward Little Rock. First was Chief David Folsom’s party of 594, who left Arkansas Post on December 13 and were at McAlmont on December 20, when disbursing agent Lt. S. V. R. Ryan bought fifteen bundles of fodder from local farmer Abraham Secrest. A party of about 1100 followers of Nitakachi (“Says it is day”), conducted by Wharton Rector, reached McAlmont about January 14. Finally, a group of about 440, driving a herd of horses, was led by Robert M. Jones, was conducted by agent Childress. They reached McAlmont about January 21, 1832.
During the fall and winter of 1832, numerous removal parties trekked west across Arkansas. In November, approximately 1,000 Choctaws arrived in Memphis. Because 400 of the Choctaws refused to board the transport boats, Lieutenant Joseph Phillips escorted them on the road from Memphis to Little Rock before reuniting with the steamboat detachment at Rock Roe. They reached Mary Black’s public house near Tollville, southeast of Hazen in the Grand Prairie, in mid-November 1832 and were at McAlmont later that month before stopping in Little Rock. Colonel Wharton Rector led a removal party of 1,900 Choctaws. Passing through the Grand Prairie on November 19-20, 1832, they passed McAlmont near the end of the month. Lt. William R. Montgomery and Lt. Isaac P. Simonton’s detachment of 1,800 Choctaws departed from Memphis, spent several days on the road, and reached McAlmont in December.
Choctaw removal resumed in the winter of 1833, when a removal party of nearly 1,000 arrived in Memphis. While some chose to travel by steamboat to Rock Roe, about 600 crossed the Mississippi River on November 2. They reunited at Rock Roe. At Mary Black’s in the Grand Prairie, they split again, and a group of 176 under John M. Millard took the old Post Road from near present-day Carlisle to Erwin’s settlement, now Old Austin. The remainder traveled through Gray’s settlement at Bayou Meto and passed McAlmont about November 26.
Muscogees (Creeks) at McAlmont
Despite the fact that it was not intended to provide for Indian removal, powers granted by the Treaty of Washington (1832) were used by United States officials to forcibly relocate Creeks from their homelands.
A caravan of approximately 630 Muscogee Creeks, 115 slaves, and 200 horses departed from Alabama in late 1834. Conducted by John Page and William Beattie, the contingent divided at Memphis with one group going overland in the direction of Little Rock and the other boarding the steamboat Harry Hill bound for the capital. Beattie’s overland party reached McAlmont about February 23, 1835.
A removal party conducted by Lieutenant J.T. Sprague reached Memphis on October 9, 1836. Before continuing to Arkansas, they divided, some 700 of the Creeks traveling west on the overland route and others going by water. The overland party passed McAlmont in either late October or early November of that year.
This group was followed shortly by another led by Lt. R. B. Screven. Numbering 3000, they had traveled overland and by steamboat from Memphis to Rock Roe, and from there adross the Grand Prairie, reaching McAlmont about November 18.
The last group of the 1836-37 season was directed by Lt. Edward Deas and came overland from Rock Roe. By the time they reached McAlmont in late November stragglers from not only that party but from others were strung out along the Memphis road.
Chickasaws at McAlmont
Chickasaw removal was authorized by the Treaty of Pontotoc (1832) and a Supplemental Treaty signed in 1834. This tribe had negotiated extensively with the federal government so that they could retain some level of control over how and when they moved west. Therefore, the Chickasaws did not begin relocating until 1837.
The first Chickasaw removal party to march from their homelands in the southeast to Indian Territory consisted of about 500 Chickasaws conducted by J. M. Millard. They left Memphis on July 7, 1837 and proceeded to Little Rock. The intense heat of the summer forced Millard and his group to travel primarily at night. Receiving their government rations at Mary Black’s on July 21, 1837, the Chickasaws continued and were at McAlmont about July 24.
Chickasaw removal resumed in the fall of 1837. Several groups, notable for their large size, traveled across the state during this time. Among these was a removal party of almost 4,000 Chickasaws who reached Memphis in early November. Approximately 3,000 embarked on the steamboats bound for Fort Coffee in Indian Territory while 1,000 Chickasaws chose to take the overland route and herd the group’s more than 3,000 horses through the area in December.
In early 1838, Robert Crockett conducted a small group of Chickasaws with livestock belonging to the Clean House Chickasaws, who had gone from Arkansas Post to Little Rock by steamboat. Crockett’s group left Arkansas Post on February 1 and traveled the old Post Road until it intersected with the Military Road near Carlisle. They then took the Military Road, reaching McAlmont about a week later.
An important Chickasaw leader named Ishtehotopa and his family relocated west in July of 1838. Ishtehotopa was the minko of the Chickasaw Nation, meaning that he held the position of spiritual and social leader for the tribe. They were at McAlmont in late July.
In the fall of 1838, Colonel A.M.M. Upshaw conducted the last major removal party of Chickasaws to pass through this region. The caravan of 299 Chickasaws, along with their livestock and personal possessions, were hampered by poor weather and road conditions as they progressed towards Little Rock. They reached McAlmont about November 23.
Cherokees at McAlmont
Signed in 1835, the Treaty of New Echota provided for the removal of all Cherokees east of the Mississippi River.
Only one removal party of this tribe passed McAlmont on their way to Indian Territory. Conducted by John Bell and Lt. Edward Deas, the group of 660 Cherokees left from Memphis on November 23, 1838. They arrived at McAlmont about December 4.
In August 2019, we presented the first Help, Hope, Healing If Those Who Are Called Leadership Forum. August is our chosen month to communicate this forum. To continue this effort and outreach, let’s send out our thoughts and prayers for Help, Hope, Healing for our loved ones and communities on August 8, 2020 as you conduct the day’s routines.
UPDATE: The Women’s History Month Observance Event has been POSTPONED due to concerns surrounding the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Although Jason Irby seeks to honor women’s contributions to Arkansas and abroad, it is important that we consider the safety and well-being of all participants and attendees.
2019 was yet another incredible year. Just when it seems that one has reached a stopping point, more is demanded.
2019 took me further into new ventures than I could’ve journeyed alone. I could never have moved in such a forward direction under my own power. God is truly great. There were more dreams fulfilled. More imaginations revealed. More possibilities and opportunities available that were realized.
The year began with growth and change to Irby’s CRP Project. Those baby trees are coming into their own. My babies are growing and looking good. For the first time since I’ve owned the area I ventured into the forest. It was time to give the woods some attention. I marked trails for foot travel. Now I will continue to develop and improve accessibility.