In a country struggling with poverty, racism, and rural isolation, it is difficult to know what to do to make a difference or how to begin healing the massive wound of racism.
Make a difference in the lives of descendants of the victims of a race massacre
The community is Elaine, Arkansas. The nonprofit comprised of descendants of the 1919 Massacre is The Elaine Legacy Center. We don't know how many were murdered in 1919, but current estimates are over 1000 of their ancestors in a period of three days. What really happened has been suppressed and too little research is being done. Even today descendants are fearful to share stories being handed down from generation to generation - still in fear of white retaliation. The poverty that followed the massacre of black farm owners and their families is still there today. Descendants are working to rebuild their once-prosperous community but often they feel that they struggle alone. A good reality-check of what life is in Elaine today is recognizing that a year ago, when the 100th anniversary of the massacre was commemorated at the Elaine Legacy Center, all three white churches in Elaine cancelled services and I am told all white people left town. The divide is real but so is the Hope of the people that a new future can be carved into the Arkansas Delta.
There were both sharecroppers and prosperous black landowners who were killed and robbed, stealing any inheritance that would have gone to the descendants because the houses, property, and land with crops were gone in three days of torture, terrorism, and death. The descendants are quite aware that their lives would have been much different if their ancestors had been allowed to live.
Please help me let these descendants know we care; that there is not 100 more years of poverty ahead by sending money for a gym, a school, educational bank accounts for the children, and essential living needs. They will do the rebuilding. But they need a sign of Hope. Are the above things enough to stop the vicious 100-year old cycle of poverty? No. But it is the first step in letting them know they are not alone as they enter a time of determination in ending the poverty left to them when their ancestors were massacred.
I am asking for your help in giving money for the children of Elaine to put in their bank accounts so the Legacy Center can educate them on the value of savings and wealth accumulation--not as a pipe dream, but as a real-life experience. This isolated town needs a gym and a school. The money will also be used to purchase laptops so these children can attend virtual school, as well as tutors to help them catch up.
I was born and raised in Arkansas. It was not until I moved to California that I heard about the Massacre. Like other white people in Arkansas, it was hidden from me. I was warned, "Do not go to that part of the Delta because Black people are mean and angry and they will kill you!" I am sure I was not alone in growing up with this awful stereotyping. We had no mention of the massacre in history classes, in churches, or in the community.
There are too many injustices to mention in this forum. It is important to note that twelve black men were arrested, charged with murder, and sentenced to death--because they had the audacity to fight back They were tortured, tried, found guilty by an all white jury, which spurred African-Americans to go into action to defend them. The NAACP hired an attorney to defend them, and he was hidden in different African-American homes at night to keep him from being killed. It resulted in a landmark Supreme Court decision that gave African-Americans the right to due process in a court of law. Yet we are not taught any of this in our history classes.
No attempts to check facts and see what was happening today. Because an African American colleague in Paris told me the story, I am no long blind to reality. I want Americans in neighborhoods with like minds to let the people still facing repercussions from 1919 know they are not alone struggling to raise families in a rapidly changing world.
No white person was charged with a crime in the Elaine "Race Riot"
We are only beginning to recognize the depth of the intergenerational post traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD) in Elaine and elsewhere. But we do know that when coupled with extreme rural poverty, the cycle will not be easily broken. I hope you will help us take the first step. Everything starts with 'Hope!'
The money raised in this GoFundMe account will be used to improve the lives of the children: to break the cycle of hopeless poverty their families have endured for 100 years since the massacre.
If your heart is moved to help in this effort, Elaine families will be greatly empowered.
The Elaine Legacy Center did not solicit me to form a GoFundMe. Check out their facebook page!
The world owes these people a great big care package!
I just couldn't sit this one out!
With trust and hope in you and our United States in healing our massive racial wounds,
May God bless and keep you safe!
Eileen Cauley, LCSW
Arkansas license 557-C
DonationsSee top donations
- Erin McSorley
- Stephen Trusheim
- Andrew Ward
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