IN OBSERVANCE OF BLACK HISTORY MONTH
The month of February is indeed an important month; important because it’s a time that we as a nation reflect on the tremendous contributions and celebration of achievements made by African Americans to our society. An annual observance in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, Black History Months helps remind us as a society to maintain historical awareness. It’s a period that provides an avenue to educate others about the history of so many of African American descent.
Last year, our agency celebrated 89 years of African-American History here in Jefferson County, Arkansas. In my support of Black History Month, I salute those who broke down systemic and racial barriers to achieve greatness and provide opportunities for me and others alike. There were several contributors to our history here such as the late Deputy Sheriff Lustachia Browder, the very first African American Deputy Sheriff employed by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office in 1927 followed by the late Deputy Sheriff Fortune Crowder, hired in 1941.
In 1953, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office hired the late Willie Perkins; becoming the agencies 3rd African American Deputy Sheriff since its establishment in 1830. In 1995, African American History marked itself again, when the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office hired its first African American female deputy, retired Sergeant Jametta Harper.
In 2006, I myself experienced what it felt like to become a part of history, when the great citizens of this county elected me to serve as their first African-American Sheriff. It has been the greatest honor and a privilege serving each and every one of you. My commitment to the citizens of this county and the citizens of the State of Arkansas is stronger than ever.
Although the contributions and accomplishments of African-Americans in the JCSO are many, the plight to cement their place in the history of our organization did not come without historic barriers. African-American’s influence is woven into the fabric of our agency, providing opportunities for minorities and others alike.