February is Black History Month, a tribute to African-American men and women who have made significant achievements and contributions to America and the rest of the world in the fields of science, politics, law, sports, the arts, entertainment, and many other fields.
An annual observance in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, Black History Month 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 African-Americans and the accomplishments we’ve made and continue to make.
This year, our agency celebrates 93 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, who became the agency’s 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.
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.