Arkansas Black Hall of Fame to spotlight inductees

From left, Dr. Joe L. Hargrove, international business consultant Hattie Hill and international citizen diplomat Sherman Banks are shown in this undated set of photos. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette file photos)

The Arkansas Black Hall of Fame induction ceremony will highlight six new members, including Grady native, Dr. Joe L. Hargrove, the first Black cardiologist to practice in Arkansas.

The ABHOF in-person induction ceremony and variety show will be held at 7 p.m. Oct. 15 at the Robinson Center Music Hall in Little Rock.

The ceremony will celebrate the ABHOF's 30th anniversary and formally admit the newest class of inductees. This will be the first in-person gala in two years due to covid-19, according to the recent ABHOF news release.

Tickets to the cocktail hour and show are available at


Dr. Joe L. Hargrove is a scientist, educator, philanthropist, and medical practitioner.

Prior to entering private practice, Hargrove was an assistant professor and director of the cardiac catheterization laboratory at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, where he was the first Black trained in cardiovascular diseases, according to the release.

Hargrove is in private practice at Little Rock with CHI St. Vincent Heart Clinic Arkansas -- Cardiology and Medicine Clinic. He specializes in cardiovascular diseases.

Hargrove received his undergraduate degree from Arkansas AM&N College (now the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff), a graduate degree from Tuskegee Institute, and did graduate studies at Harvard University, Cornell University, and the University of Akron.

He served on the science department faculty at AM&N College from 1967-1971. Hargrove received his medical degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and graduated with honors.

He completed his internal medicine residency at the Metropolitan General Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio, and at UAMS. His fellowship training in cardiology was done at UAMS.

Hargrove is married to Frances R. Harris, M.D., and is the father of six children.


The 2022 inductees also include:

Ketty Lester from Hope -- TV and motion picture actress, singer, songwriter and recording artist.

James Thrower from Camden -- NFL star and business, philanthropic and civic leader.

Hattie Hill from Moro -- international business consultant, entrepreneur and philanthropic leader.

Sherman Banks of Little Rock -- international citizen diplomat, honorary consul general to Ghana and arts education patron.

Gertrude Newsome Jackson from Gum Bottom -- (posthumous) educator and social justice and civil rights leader.

"Our 2022 class of inductees continue the tradition of showcasing the tremendous talent that Arkansas produces," said Charles Stewart, ABHOF chairman. "The covid-19 pandemic paused our plans in 2020 and again in 2021, so we look forward to an amazing ceremony for our inductees, their family and friends and others as we celebrate the return to the Robinson and 30 years of recognizing some of our state's best."

With the long-awaited induction ceremony, the ABHOF Foundation will continue to fund raise towards improving education, health and wellness, youth development, and strengthening families in Black and other underserved communities throughout Arkansas.

This year, with the generous support of corporate partners, the foundation awarded $50,000 through 16 mission-related grants, according to the release.

Throughout its history, the foundation has sought to correct the omissions of history and to remind the world that Black history is a significant part of American history.

The foundation honors the contributions of Black Americans through its annual induction ceremony and awards grants to support charitable endeavors. Since 2010, ABHOF grants have impacted Arkansans in 69 of Arkansas' 75 counties.

The foundation aims to provide an environment in which future generations of Black achievers with Arkansas roots will thrive and succeed.