The signage for The Elaine Legacy Center, 313 College Avenue, Elaine, is going up so that with good lighting, it can be seen from a distance.
“Elaine: Motherland of Civil Rights” is the theme of the Center because so often Elaine is remembered only for being the site of the largest massacre in United States history rather than the historic impact its leaders had on shaping Civil Rights in the entire country.

The signage for The Elaine Legacy Center, 313 College Avenue, Elaine, is going up so that with good lighting, it can be seen from a distance.

“Elaine: Motherland of Civil Rights” is the theme of the Center because so often Elaine is remembered only for being the site of the largest massacre in United States history rather than the historic impact its leaders had on shaping Civil Rights in the entire country.

“Too few understand it was the last of hundreds of massacres that summer and the one that resulted in African Americans working together from death row to take their case all the way to the United States Supreme Court where the landmark decision, Moore vs Dempsey, is still cited to assure states guarantee all citizens rights regulated by the Federal Bill of Rights,” Pastor Mary Olson explained.

The Elaine 12 were share croppers and African American land owners of South Phillips County who survived the massacre but were on death row. Their legacy had been all but forgotten; even their descendants often not recognizing the heroes in their own families. The Elaine men, their families, and friends hired lawyers and brought the NAACP and other justice advocates in to support them.

Long before Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr made “nonviolence” a household word, the Elaine 12 set the pace by nonviolently moving through the judicial system until they reached the U.S. Supreme Court where Oliver Wendell Holmes penned the decision that states cannot go again the US Federal Bill of Rights.

The signage is up just in time for the opening of the Visiting Elaine’s Heroes Workshop (Ages 5 and up) that begins Monday to feature performing arts, music, outdoor activities and games. The workshop is shaped around young people’s hopes for how Elaine will be remembered in 2019,” - the centennial year and beyond. The Visiting Elaine’s Heroes Workshop will be led by performing artists, Arielle Brown, Mauricio Salgado in collaboration with local leaders with the Elaine Legacy Center.

The Elaine Legacy Center is one of four centers of Waves of Prayer. The other centers are The Elaine Community Center, The South Phillips County Food and Garden Center, and Olas de Oracion.