Brooks Hays: A man’s struggle with ‘Jim Crow’ segregation

U.S. Representative Brooks Hays of Russellville struggled with a “Jim Crow” mindset when confronted with civil rights issues. Although he grew into a consequential man, his social upbringing and religious training did not allow him to become a transformative civil rights leader.

Hays played a key role in mid-20th century American politics. He represented the Arkansas Fifth Congressional District from 1942 to 1958. The district included Pope, Johnson, Yell and other counties.

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