Join the Central Arkansas Library System’s Legacies & Lunch, for Benji de la Piedra’s talk on “The Two Herbert Dentons: A Principal and a Journalist, from Black Little Rock to Black DC and Beyond.”
It will take place at 12 noon at the Darragh Center Auditorium inside the main CALS building on Library Sqaure.
Herbert Denton Jr., a native son of Little Rock, was a pioneering African American journalist at the Washington Post from 1966 until his death in 1989. As the first person of color with a position of authority in the Post newsroom, he hired and mentored a generation of influential black journalists and revolutionized coverage of local life in the nation’s capital at a time when the city was more than seventy percent African American.
His father, Herbert Denton Sr., was a lifelong public educator in Little Rock and a pillar of the city’s black community, who so far has gone unacknowledged in the written record of Little Rock history. As Denton Jr.’s biographer, Benji de la Piedra will trace the career arcs of both father and son, with an emphasis on their powerful, if sometimes controversial, approaches to racial uplift, education, and civic responsibility.
Benji de la Piedra is a writer and oral historian from Washington DC, currently living in Little Rock. In addition to his work on Herbert Denton Jr.’s biography, he co-directs the Columbia Life Histories Project and serves on the coordinating committee of the Arkansas People’s History Project. A graduate of Columbia University’s Oral History MA program, and a former fellow of the Alliance for Historical Dialogue and Accountability, he teaches and consults on community-based oral history projects around the United States. He speaks and writes regularly about American history and culture, with an emphasis on black intellectual expression.