John A. Kirk is Chair and Donaghey Professor of History at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He holds an undergraduate degree in American Studies from the University of Nottingham and a Ph.D. in American History from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.
Kirk’s research focuses on the history of the civil rights movement in the United States, the South, and Arkansas, and the history of post-New Deal southern politics, society and culture. He has won a number of awards for his research including the F. Hampton Roy Award (1993) from the Pulaski County Historical Association, and the Walter L. Brown Award (1994), the J. G. Ragsdale Book Award (2003), and the Lucille Westbrook Award (2005) from the Arkansas Historical Association.
In the five short years before it disbanded, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee’s (SNCC) Arkansas Project played a pivotal part in transforming the state, yet this fascinating branch of the national organization has barely garnered a footnote in the history of the civil rights movement.
This collection serves as a corrective by bringing articles on SNCC’s activities in Arkansas together for the first time, by providing powerful firsthand testimonies, and by collecting key historical documents from SNCC’s role in the region’s emergence from the slough of southern injustice.
An Epitaph for Little Rock: A Fiftieth Anniversary Retrospective on the Central High Crisis
This collection of essays mines the Arkansas Historical Quarterly from the 1960s to the present to form a body of work that represents some of the finest scholarship on the crisis. Introduced with an informative historiographical essay from John A. Kirk, An Epitaph for Little Rock is essential reading on this defining moment in America’s civil rights struggle.
Beyond Little Rock: The Origins and Legacies of the Central High Crisis
Based on extensive archival work, private paper collections, and oral history, this book includes eight of John Kirk’s essays, two of which have never been published before. Together, these essays locate the dramatic events of the crisis within the larger story of the African American struggle for freedom and equality in Arkansas.
Martin Luther King Jr.: Profiles in Power
Combining the latest insights from King biographies and movement histories, this book provides an up-to-date analysis of the relationship between the man and the movement. Recognized by the Huffington Post on MLK Day 2011 as one of the best 10 books on the civil rights leader.
This is the first book to contextualize the events in Little Rock within the unfolding struggle for black rights at local, state, regional, and national levels between 1940 and 1970. Early civil-rights scholarship focused almost exclusively on the role played by national civil rights organizations between 1955 and 1965. John Kirk argues that only by understanding the groundwork laid by black activists at the grassroots level in the 1940s and 1950s can we fully understand the significance of later protests. Moreover, Kirk shows that local-level black activists and black organizations were not homogeneous, but differed significantly in their goals and strategies, thereby adding a multi-dimensional facet to a complex struggle that was more than just white against black.
Civil Rights and Social Change | The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture
Civil Rights (Twentieth Century) | The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture
Arkansas Negro Democratic Association | The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture
John Marshall Robison | The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture
William Harold Flowers | The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture
Martin Luther King, Jr. | The New Georgia Encyclopedia