Taborian Hall has a varied and interesting history and has been featured in two books and is also being featured in an AETN Documentary as well.
End of the Line: A history of Little Rock's West Ninth Street
by Berna J. Love
'The Line was more than a street. West Ninth Street, known to locals as The Line, was a boundary that separated Little Rock's (Arkansas) black and white societies.
'West Ninth Street wasn't about out bricks, boards, and mortar; it was about a people who sought a better world for themselves. The Line was the stage upon which we can now see the greatest drama of the twentieth century - the greatest finale - the emancipation of a People. A look a societal events, area histories, and personal perspectives reveals a myriad of factors that contributed to West Ninth Street's glorious heyday and it's final years of withering away.'
The book is available for purchase from Arkansas' Flag and Banner.
The newest book is about Taborian Hall and the Dreamland Ballroom:
EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK:
Temple of Dreams:
Taborian Hall and its Dreamland Ballroom
By Berna J. Love
The first time I saw Taborian Hall, I loved it. Aesthetically, Taborian Hall is a beautiful red brick building, dignified with a cream columned entrance and unique round windows on the top floor under a classic roof. Inside looking west, the windows delicately frame a view of the state capital and a large American flag that always flies. Like a house of spirits, in Taborian Hall, I sense a goodness, suppressed excitement, and lots of sashay, though I learned later that much tragedy took place here.
In trying to relay the history of Taborian Hall, I used the combination of fact and memory to create present-day knowledge. I think it is important to show people’s emotional ties to buildings, especially this one, because Taborian Hall is the last, physical proof of a strong Black community that thrived on West Ninth Street for one hundred years. It may be odd for a historian to see, much less ponder psychic ties to the original intention of Taborian, but common themes do appear throughout the life of the building. Or perhaps, I’ve been swept up in its magic. Living memories and emotions have created a mythology about Taborian, a building that at times has been simply referred to by locals as “Dreamland."
A beautiful older lady came to my book signing at Arkansas Flag and Banner and related this tale to me. Her mother worked as a maid for a family in the Heights in Little Rock all during the week. Come Sunday night, the maid’s day off, she’d sit on her mother's bed and watch as her Mama-the-maid began her metamorphosis. “Oh she looked just like a princess. Every Sunday night, she’d look like a princess to go to Dreamland.” Going to the Dreamland....because after all that is what it was.
Berna J. Love
M.A. Public History
University of Arkansas at Little Rock and Memphis State
Ms. Love is a professional historian, museum consultant, and educator. Formerly associate director of the Children's Museum of Arkansas and director of programming and curator of anthropology at the Museum of Discovery in Little Rock, Arkansas, Ms. Love has also produced and written twenty-four documentaries on Arkansas history for television, museums, and corporations including an educational series entitled, "Arkansas, Its Land and People." She has authored numerous papers and articles. Her books include Arkansas Indians, A Children's Learning and Activity Book, and End of the Line: A History of Little Rock's West Ninth Street. Presently she is completing a book on the history of Taborian Hall and the Dreamland Ballroom. After that, well...Ms. Love is always ready for a new adventure.
Dancing into Dreamland 2016
Dancing into Dreamland 2015
Temple of Dreams
Dreamland in the Movies