On Sept. 30, the activist group Black Unity marched through Springfield to commemorate the 101st anniversary of the Elaine Massacre.
The massacre, in which historical estimates say over 200 Black people were killed by local vigilantes, federal troops, and the Ku Klux Klan, is cited as the bloodiest racist conflict in Arkansas and one of the bloodiest in American history.
In a poetic–and unsurprising–twist, Black Unity and their followers were met by counter-protesters, including some members of the local so-called “patriot’s militia” which led to scuffles and at least one incident in which protesters were attacked with mace.
It was BU’s first march in Springfield since their disastrous march in Thurston on July 29, and the first since President Donald Trump refused to condemn the violence of his far-right supporters at the first presidential debate.
Photographer John Adair was on the ground to capture these photos of the rally and subsequent march.