African-American fraternal headstones will be subject of a discussion at the February 3 meeting of the Tunican Chapter of the Arkansas Archeological Society on the University of Arkansas at Monticello campus.

Dr. Blake Wintory

Dr. Blake Wintory

Dr. Blake Wintory, the assistant director and facilities manager of Lakeport Plantation in Lake Village, will present “From Mosaic Templars to Royal Circle of Friends: Identifying Arkansas’ African American Fraternal Headstones”. Wintory is the former director of research and interpretation at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center.

An International Order of Twelve Knights and Daughters of Tabor headstone at a cemetery in Arkansas City.

An International Order of Twelve Knights and Daughters of Tabor headstone at a cemetery in Arkansas City.

Arkansas’ African American cemeteries are dotted with monuments from fraternal organizations founded in late 19th and early 20th centuries. Membership was often social, but also came with desirable sickness and death benefits. Several Arkansas-based fraternal organizations, like the Mosaic Templars, Supreme Royal Circle of Friends, and Knights and Daughters of Tabor, provided standardized monuments as part of their benefits. Wintory’s presentation will focus on the rise and decline of these organizations and show examples that identify African American fraternal monuments throughout Arkansas.

The meeting will be held on February 3 at 6:30 p.m. in the Forest Resources Conference Room on the University of Arkansas at Monticello campus. The event is free and open to the public.

For more information call Katy Gregory at 870-460-1090.