Colored Auxiliary Council of Defense

The Colored Auxiliary Council was implemented in Arkansas as a result of pressure by the National Council on southern states. The National Council of Defense believed that rallying the support of the black population was “of vital importance” to the “Federal authorities.”

The National Council wanted the State Councils in the south to initiate the founding of these organizations in order to maintain control and to prevent an “over significance” placed on black communities that mass recruiting from federal agencies could cause. The Federal government wanted the support of African Americans but at the same time, they did not want to upset the status quo.

The idea of black communities being or having an organization that would empower the individual or group alarmed segregationists on the State Council and the National Council. The black council members were not allowed to manage themselves, they were under the direct supervision of John Bond and Wallace Townsend.

According to the Arkansas Gazette, over thirty counties would have their own council, in counties with large black populations. The first meeting was held in Little Rock at the capital on August 10, 1918, fifteen months after the State Council was formed and nine months after the pressure from the National Council.

This site uses primary sources to show how the Arkansas Colored Auxiliary Council of Defense was established. Primary sources used are housed at the Arkansas State Archives.

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