University of Arkansas Press Publishes Book on Lynching in Arkansas

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Bullets and Fire: Lynching and Authority in Arkansas, 1840–1950, edited by Guy Lancaster, has been released by the University of Arkansas Press.

The book features chapters by ten contributors from across Arkansas and the United States who cover various aspects of lynching in Arkansas, from the little-studied lynching of slaves to the role the state’s congressional representatives and senators played in forestalling anti-lynching legislation at the national level.

“These last few years have seen much debate regarding America’s history of race relations, most notably the meaning of slavery and the Civil War,” said Lancaster. “Our vision of the future always affects what lessons we take from the past, but any analysis of our shared past must be unflinching. We must acknowledge those stories and those events which have, for far too long, been pushed into darkened corners and forgotten.”

Lancaster believes that his new book marks only the beginning of the study of racial violence in Arkansas. “Many other scholars are currently investigating specific events or trying to broaden our perspective with wider analyses,” he said. “The more we study, the more we’ll realize needs further research.”

Lancaster will be discussing and signing Bullets and Fire at noon Wednesday, Jan. 3, at Legacies and Lunch, Little Rock 100 Rock Street

 Lancaster serves as the editor of the online Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture, a project of the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies at the Central Arkansas Library System. His previous book, Racial Cleansing in Arkansas, 1883–1924: Politics, Land, Labor, and Criminality, received the Booker Worthen Literary Prize and two awards from the Arkansas Historical Association.

All royalties from the sale of Bullets and Fire will go to the Arkansas Historical Association to endow a scholarship in the name of the late C. Calvin Smith, a professor of history at ASU and the first African American faculty member hired by the university.

About the University of Arkansas Press: The University of Arkansas Press was founded in 1980 as the book publishing division of the University of Arkansas. A member of the Association of American University Presses, it has as its central and continuing mission the publication of books that serve both the broader academic community and Arkansas and the region.

About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 2 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.


Melissa King, Director of Sales and Marketing
University of Arkansas Press

Steve Voorhies, manager of media relations
University Relations


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