The 1983 Covenant race riots were a series of racially-charged public unrest over the course of three weeks in January and early February, 1983, in Covenant, Arkansas and nearby municipalities. The first riots were initially fueled by public outrage at the fatal beating of Roger Clark by three white police officers, and later at the lack of response to the crime by Covenant Police Chief Henry Stock. The last riot, in February, was mostly retaliatory attacks by mobs of white men against African-Americans in the city in response to prior violence. The riots resulted 20 billion dollars in damage, 87 deaths, and required the Arkansas National Guard to move in. It is regarded as the worst cases of civil unrest in the 20th century and one of the worst in American history. The riots severely scarred Covenant, which had long been one of the most racially harmonious cities in the American South, and came to cause the end of the political careers of numerous state officials in Arkansas. Culturally, the Covenant riots were a pivotal part of the Our Story book series, and of the 2001 film Riot, and are regarded as the beginning of the decline of the white-dominated Southern Democrats.

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