U of A Community Invited to Silas Hunt Documentary Screening and Panel Discussion

U of A Community Invited to Silas Hunt Documentary Screening and Panel Discussion
Graphic by the Office of Admissions

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – University of Arkansas faculty, staff and students are invited to a virtual screening of Silas Hunt: A Documentary followed by a panel discussion from noon to 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18. The event is a collaboration between the School of Law, the Office of Admissions, and the Arkansas Alumni Association.

Due to copyright restrictions, non-U of A personnel will not be permitted to participate in this event.

Click here to register.


Silas Hunt: A Documentary is the story of the first African American man to attend a Southern land grant university in modern times, as told by the people who knew him. Hunt, a decorated World War II veteran from Texarkana, enrolled in the University of Arkansas School of Law in February 1948. He only completed one semester of classes before becoming ill and withdrawing from school. He died the next year from tuberculosis, aggravated by injuries he received during the war.

Hunt's admission to the university began the process of integration at the University of Arkansas and in colleges and universities across the southern United States.

The film was commissioned by Donnie Dutton, dean of the School of Continuing Education. The 12-member staff of the media services department worked for 22 months to tell Hunt's life story, from his childhood, through his military service and to his time at the university. Christopher Erwin produced and directed the film from a script by Thomas Jordan.

Erwin, Jordan and assistant producer Brian Petty researched Hunt's life, dug up archival pictures and documents, and tracked down the people who knew Hunt during his life, including several who witnessed his experiences at the University of Arkansas. The team consulted with professional researchers in Washington, D.C., who helped him find material in the National Archives and the Library of Congress. Media services crews traveled 17,000 miles in 12 states, shot 56 hours of videotape, and found 2,500 documents and images to use in their 63-minute film.


Following the film screening, a lively panel discussion will take place. It will be led by Judge Wiley A. Branton Jr. (retired), Charles Robinson, provost and executive vice chancellor for academic and student affairs, and Romona L. West, director of diversity and inclusion at the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences. 

The panel will be moderated by Donta Dismuke, president of the Black Law Student Association, and Dana McGee, vice president of the Black Law Student Association.

About the University of Arkansas: As Arkansas' flagship institution, the U of A provides an internationally competitive education in more than 200 academic programs. Founded in 1871, the U of A contributes more than $2.2 billion to Arkansas' economy through the teaching of new knowledge and skills, entrepreneurship and job development, discovery through research and creative activity while also providing training for professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the U of A among the top 3% of U.S. colleges and universities with the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the U of A among the top public universities in the nation. See how the U of A works to build a better world at Arkansas Research News.



Miranda Stith, communications intern
School of Law
479-575-7417, mvstith@uark.edu

Yusra Sultana, director of communications
School of Law
479-575-7417, ysultana@uark.edu


Study Finds Discreet Shipping Used to Sell E-Cigarettes to Minors

Researchers at the U of A found businesses on TikTok are circumventing local, state and federal laws that restrict the individual sale of tobacco products.

Pat Johnson Named Bess Lomax Hawes National Heritage Fellowship Recipient

The U of A Libraries’ Arkansas Folk and Traditional Arts will host the 2024 Bess Lomax Hawes National Heritage Fellowship celebration on Thursday, June 13.

Monika Szakasits Retiring From the Law Library After 20 Years

Szakasits, associate director of the Young Law Library, is retiring at the end of May after 20 years of service. A reception will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, May 31, at the Six Pioneers Room of the Law School.

USDA-NIFA Grant Supports Microwave Tech to Zap Weed Seeds

Scientists and engineers with the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station are investigating the use of 915 MHz microwaves to neutralize weed seeds underground, including those that are herbicide resistant.

Political Science's Bayram Named a Leader for the International Studies Association

A. Burcu Bayram, professor of international relations for the Department of Political Science, has been elected as the vice president and section chair of the International Studies Association.

News Daily