Friday, July 15, 2016


©Wendell Griffen, 2016
July 15, 2016

The Arkansas Department of Heritage has done it again.  Black Lives Matter T-shirts have been banned from being sold at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center gift shop. 

The T-shirts are popular and sell well.  But someone has decided, for a second time this year, to ban them from sale at the gift shop in the only cultural heritage museum in Arkansas dedicated to the experience of African Americans. 

Earlier this year Rebecca Burkes, deputy director of the Arkansas Department of Heritage, directed the MTCC staff to remove Black Lives Matter T-shirts from sale.  After people expressed their indignation that the only museum in the Arkansas Department of Heritage dedicated to the experience of African Americans had removed a popular gift item from its shelves, Stacy Hurst (Director of the Department of Heritage) ordered that the shirts be returned. 

Director Hurst’s order to restock the Black Lives Matter T-shirts was obeyed.  The shirts were returned to the shelves.  They sold briskly, and the stock was replenished.  The replenished supply continued to sell briskly and was depleted a week ago.  But a new supply of T-shirts has not been re-ordered. 

I tried to purchase some BLM T-shirts at the MTCC today after someone told me they were not being sold.  When I entered the gift shop area and told the receptionist I wanted to purchase BLM T-shirts, she politely told me no shirts were on hand, that the last shirts were sold a week ago, and that no more shirts have been ordered.  She was unable to tell me why this popular selling and culturally relevant item was not re-ordered.  She could not tell me who decided to not re-order the BLM T-shirts. 

Yes, we could order BLM T-shirts on-line from another vendor.  But as I told the nice receptionist, my online order would not benefit the MTCC.  I purchase BLM T-shirts from the MTCC as a way to support its mission. 

Black Lives Matter T-shirts are not being restocked for sale at the MTCC apparently because someone (perhaps within the hierarchy of the Department of Heritage or elsewhere in the Hutchinson administration) doesn’t want them sold at the MTCC.  Someone hopes we won’t miss them.  Someone doesn’t expect us to complain about the craven decision to not resupply what is perhaps currently the most culturally relevant apparel item about the black experience in Arkansas and the United States. 

Please demand that Black Lives Matter T-shirts be reordered and kept in stock for sale at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center. 

Please call Governor Hutchinson’s office at (501) 682-2345 and/or complain online at

Please call Director Stacy Hurst at the Department of Heritage at (501) 324-9150 and/or complain online at

Please call Christina Shutt, director of the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, (501) 683-3591 and/or complain online at

Someone doesn’t expect us to protest the decision to ban Black Lives Matter T-shirts from sale at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center.  Let’s prove them wrong. 


  1. Sorry Judge Griffin, would savor the opportunity to take on Stacy Hurst, I really miss doing head to head battle with her. But as a private citizen, she will just ignore any of my attempts to contact her to voice my alarm.

    Yet if I had the authority of City Hall behind me she would be ill advised to ignore my request for an response for this illegitimate and just poor market decision.

    This is just one of many issues you and I see eye to eye on, especially when it comes to Stacy Hurst, that I would like to speak with you about. Please see:

    and contact me.

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